Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said industries in Maharashtra have prospered because of the labourers and they cannot move out of the state and render these people jobless. He asked party workers to keep a close vigil on industrial units to make sure they are not looking for opportunities elsewhere and help locals keep their jobs.
The move comes at a time when several industrial units from the textile, engineering, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors are moving out of the state because of high operational costs following an increase in power tariff, electricity duty, water charges and labour charges.
However, Thackeray made it clear that his party was opposed to any violent protests resulting in damage to property, including machines and equipment, by employees fighting for the cause.
The Sena chief also took a swipe at Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa for luring away industrialists and business houses from Maharashtra. He warned that the Sena would do everything to foil such attempts at a time when the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute is yet to be resolved.
The Economic Survey of Maharashtra for 2009-10 has expressed serious concern over the closure of industries in the state. According to the report, there has been a 35 per cent rise in the number of small-scale industries that were closed during the year.
The report states that the reasons behind the closing down of small-, medium- and large-scale industries could be due to power shortage, the recent economic downturn and competition.
The Congress was quick to react to Thackeray's comments, and said there was nothing new about industries looking for opportunities elsewhere. Some industries prefer to move out due to competition and their inability to cope with rising costs.
"However, new investments are coming in the state and it continues to be the favoured destination for investors," a senior Congress party leader said on the condition of anonymity.