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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Changing tack in the ongoing war of words over Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan's remark comparing the Odisha government's 'teacher on call' scheme with app-based cab services like 'Ola' and 'Uber', the state government today sought to pass it off as a scheme that had been suggested by the NDA government at the Centre.

"As far as I can remember, it was former HRD minister Smruti Irani who proposed the over 'teachers on call'. We we are executing it accordingly," School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said.

BJD backed its minister saying that the same plan has been implemented in some BJP-ruled State. "Why he is not opposing the move in some BJP ruled States where the same plan has been implemented. The retired teachers are respectful and well experienced. Passing rude remark against them is really condemnable", BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhushan Behera said.

Countering Mishra, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who initiated the war of words the BJD government with his 'Ola, Uber' comment two days ago, asked whether Centre had suggested appointment of teachers on contract instead of filling up regular posts. He also sought a detailed report on vacancies in schools.

"Has the Centre suggested to the State that regular posts be kept vacant? My question is: how many posts are still vacant? How many unemployed youths are working on contractual basis?, Pradhan asked.

The Petroleum minister was also backed by his party in State. Vice president of BJP's Odisha unit Sameer Mohanty lambasted BJD for misinterpreting Pradhan's statement.

"In fact, he (Dharmendra) raised the issue why State government had shown disrespect to teachers. But, BJD is misinterpreting his speech", Mohanty said.

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