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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including the Congress, came down heavily on the Odisha government by terming the appointment of over 6000 contractual teachers as politically motivated.

They alleged that at a time when thousands of contractual teachers are fighting for their rights by protesting in Bhubaneswar, the fresh appointments are done by the Odisha government to take an unfair advantage in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held early next year in the State.

Sanatan Bijuli, a BJP legislator slammed the government by saying, “They do not have any sympathy for the teachers. The fresh appointments are done only keeping an eye on the Panchayat polls.”

Similarly, State Congress vice-president, Debasis Patnaik said, “They could have given appointments earlier. The timing of the appointment proves that the ruling BJD wants to lure the teachers by doling out contractual appointments.”

However, the BJD refuted the allegations. Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability Minister, Ashok Chandra Panda said, “Under the 5T initiative, smart classes, e-libraries and e-laboratories have been set up in schools. Teacher appointment is a regular process. There is nothing political about it.”

The newly appointed teachers were nonetheless happy. Speaking to the media, Deepak Nayak, a fresh teacher said, “The Chief Minister gave us suggestions to use technology to bring innovation in teaching techniques. I am quite happy getting the appointment.”

It is worthwhile to mention that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had distributed contractual appointment letters to 6131 newly-recruited teachers at an orientation programme held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar amid fireworks on December 16.

However, just after a day, hundreds of contractual teachers under the aegis of the Odisha Junior Teachers’ Association had staged a demonstration at the Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar over non-regularisation of jobs. The teachers alleged that they were recruited as contractual teachers in 2015.

Though the advertisement notification stated that their jobs would be regularised after 06 years, it is yet to be implemented by the State government.

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