Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha government on Wednesday informed the court that they have published a district-wise selection list of the candidates. Hearing the case, the Court asked the government to submit an affidavit on whether the State-wide general list of selected candidates has been scrapped or not.

Speaking about the hearing, the counsel of the petitioner, Sameer Kumar Das said, “We wanted the government to stop selection from the State list and issue another district-wise list of the candidates. The government said that it has prepared a district list. But when the court asked whether the State list has been withdrawn or not, the government denied it saying the State list still prevails.”

“We put forth an example from Balasore district where the government website has some selected candidates who have not chosen Balasore as their preference. They are selected on the basis of higher marks. But that should not have been the case. The government should have selected candidates on the basis of their district preference,” Das added.

The next hearing in the case has been listed for January 30. The court’s interim order for the government to hold the selection process will continue till then.

Meanwhile, politics have heated up over the issue. While the Congress and the BJP are baying for the government’s blood, the BJD has also taken an attacking stance on the issue.

Condemning the Odisha government, BJP Yuva Morcha president, Abhilash Panda alleged, “The job sale business has started in Odisha, and over the last few years it has pushed the future of our youth into darkness. Be it OPSC recruitment or junior teachers, ‘Mahal Mandas’ get jobs in Odisha. This Junior teacher recruitment scam is not the first recruitment scam in Odisha. There have been so many recruitment scams in the past 3-4 years that the sale of government jobs has become an established norm in Odisha.”

In response to BJP’s allegations, BJD MP Sasmit Patra accused the BJP of misleading people by circulating false news on teacher recruitment.

Taking to X, Patra posted, “The Press release by EdCIL (India) Limited, a "Miniratna" Central PSE under Government of India has clarified everything on Junior Teachers recruitment. The Tweet by the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) further clarifies it well. However, an informal, unsigned Odia press release has been mischievously circulated to mislead and falsify the truth. Doing politics and sensationalizing false news in a sensitive issue like teacher recruitment is shocking and shows the mindset to grab political mileage by any means.”

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