BJP MLC Gopichand Padalkar criticised NCP Chief Sharad Pawar for not supporting State Transport (ST) employees during the strike despite having his union among the workers and alleged that the senior leader eyes ST Bank’s funds.
Drawing attention to the election announcement for the ST employees bank, Padalkar said, “The ST workers were fighting for their rights by sitting on strike for six months. Now Pawar is eyeing the ST employees banks with deposits of Rs 2,000 crore and its other property.”
However, the workers with arrears have been barred from voting in the election, he said. “The employees who participated in the strike are the ones having arrears and which is obvious. But now, they do not have the voting rights which is not fair to them,” Padalkar said.
BJP leader recalled that Sharad Pawar in 1995 accredited his union with the help of INTUC and collected crores of rupees from the employees as a fee. “Also, for the annual session every year, Rs 500 per person were collected and a similar amount of money was amassed for the birthday celebration. About Rs. 100 crore have been embezzled in this manner. A few close aids ended up getting cars of Rs 20 lakhs,” he said.
However, Sharad Pawar did not support the ST employees who were on strike. “Forget about food, Pawar did not even send water, or tea from Silver Oak (Pawar's residence) for the hungry employees. He would have helped 135 widows of ST employees if he had humanity. We would teach a lesson to them and would never allow their conspiracies to succeed,” Padalkar added.