Some 90,000 jobs are up for grabs in Indian Railways and at least 28 million candidates will be appearing for the written and fitness tests being viewed as the world’s largest recruitment exercise. Indian Railways, which is on the threshold of a $129-billion modernisation drive after years of neglect, needs 26,502 train drivers and technicians and 62,907 less-skilled employees including track maintenance staff (pictured), welders and porters. Some 20,000 more jobs will be offered next month, taking the total jobs offered to 110,000. The last day for receiving the applications was Saturday (March 31) and the number of applicants may have touched 30 million. Opposition parties which, until now, were blaming the federal government for its failure to generate jobs, has started playing a different tune. They say the massive railway recruitment drive ahead of 2019 elections is a vote-winning strategy by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. They see BJP as a machine that keeps winning elections but fails to keep promises to the voters. After Modi came to power, economy is growing fast but the goal of generating 100 million jobs as promised during the 2014 poll campaign is still afar. Indian Railways is the world’s eighth largest employer and it has some 1.4 million employees.