Maha loss- Labour panel Hq shunted from Nagpur to Delhi; MVA slams Centre

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The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has slammed the Centre’s decision to shift the national headquarters of the 63-year autonomous body, Dattopant Thengadi National Board for Workers Education & Development (DTNBWED), from Nagpur to New Delhi.

The move came in a terse letter – with a punitive threat – from the Union Labour Ministry to the Director-General of DTNBWED, ordering to initiate the shifting process, from Nagpur to the body’s swank new building at Rohini in the capital.

“A compliance report in this regard may be furnished to the Ministry. Appropriate action shall be initiated for any disobedience of the orders of the Ministry,” said the November 25 letter signed by an Under Secretary Atul Kumar Singh.

Slamming the Centre, Shiv Sena’s Kishore Tiwari, accorded a MoS status, demanded why all Bharatiya Janata Party’s union ministers from the state like Nitin Gadkari, Narayan Rane, Piyush Goyal, Raosaheb Patil-Danve, Bharati Pawar, Kapil Patil and Bhagwat Karad, besides Ramdas Athawale are “mum” on the major move.

“If they don’t have the courage to speak up for the state, it is clear they are willy-nilly supporting the Central move and are acting against their home-state,” said Tiwari sharply.

Sena’s labour leader Dr Raghunath Kuchik – holding a MoS rank – said Maharashtra is the country’s hub of finance, trade, commerce and industry, which employs huge labour, and the decision reeks of a ‘conspiracy’ between the Centre and the Opposition state BJP leaders.

“Why didn’t they do it when Devendra Fadnavis was the CM? It indicates the sheer desperation of the BJP which lost power here in 2019 and now they are working against the interests of the workers, the people and the state,” Dr Kuchik said pointedly.

Nationalist Congress Party National Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik termed the move “as another example of the BJP government’s animosity” towards the state in the past two years.

“Maharashtra is creating waves on all fronts and developing at a fast pace which some people cannot digest. Now, they are going all-out to degrade the state’s importance by such moves, but they will not succeed,” Malik said grimly.

Strongly condemning the move, State Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said right from the beginning the BJP-led Central government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been diluting the importance of Maharashtra and the DTNBWED move is the latest in the series.

He pointed out that since 1958, the DTNBWED – with 50 branches in India – has been engaged in empowerment of organised/unorganised labour by creating awareness on various socio-economic issues and implementing government schemes.

“All these years, no Central government had any problem with its (DTNBWED) headquarters remaining in Nagpur. The Modi government’s decision is out of a grudge against Maharashtra and must be opposed,” urged Sawant.

Incidentally, the movement started over five years ago when the then Union MoS Labour Bandaru Dattatreya renamed the erstwhile Central Board for Workers Education as ‘DTNBWED’, and former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had inaugurated its new building in Rohini (New Delhi), in August 2016.

Its mission is to educate the country’s workforce for their effective participation in the country’s socio-economic-industrial development, create awareness on various best practices for employers-employees and government, train them in trade unionism techniques, conduct programmes for the labour in all sectors in national, regional unit and village levels, etc.

DTNBWED is named after the late Thengadi – a RSS Pracharak from Wardha (Maharashtra) – and a right-wing trade unionist, who was a vocal proponent of ‘Swadeshi Economics’. He passed away in Pune in 2004, aged 83.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

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