Bhubaneswar: A day after Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan compared the Odisha government’s ‘Teacher-On-Call’ plan to app-based taxi services like ‘Ola’ and ‘Uber’, BJD leaders have accused Pradhan of humiliating the teachers of the State.
Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy said, “Had he (Pradhan) been representing Odisha, he would not have come up with this Ola, Uber comment.”
“Being a responsible person, he (Pradhan) should consider how far it behoves him to make such irresponsible comments,” he added.
Not to be left behind, Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout aimed a barb against Pradhan, saying, “People will talk as per their educational level. Can I compete with them in giving comments? Parents give births. But the teachers who give us education are akin to parents. I have not learnt criticising teachers in this language and this is against my upbringing and culture.”
Joining the attack-Pradhan bandwagon, BJD MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo said, “Comparing teachers, whom this country worships, to taxi drivers and taxi companies is humiliation to them. After parents, teachers are most important to us.”
Meanwhile, the State unit of BJP justified the comments of Pradhan saying the ruling party is trying to divert public attention from the main issue and playing political gimmick. The party questioned the justification of the State government decision on the ‘teacher-on-call’ plan instead of filling up the 43,810 existing vacancies of teachers.
Prithviraj Harichandan, BJP general secretary, said, “The state government has hatched a conspiracy to destroy the education system in Odisha and this is seems obvious from this decision,” adding the State should give priority to provide permanent jobs to educated youth.
Commenting on the issue, Samir Mohanty, BJP State Vice President said, “Actually, Pradhan said why the State government dishonoured teachers. Our party has the culture how to honour teachers.”
Notably, Pradhan had said yesterdaythat teachers are not like drivers of cab service companies Ola and Uber that they will attend the classes ‘on call’ while commenting on the State government’s decision to appoint retired teachers on temporary basis to take care of the problem of teacher shortage in secondary schools.