Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday cornered the Odisha government over approving the proposal to introduce quota in engineering and medical colleges for students of the State-run school.

Addressing a presser, State BJP general secretary Lekhashree Samantasinghar said that instead of creating a new category, the government should have worked towards creating quota for the other backward classes and economically weaker sections of the society. "The State government should clarify the justification behind demanding reservation," she said.

Students are getting attracted towards private schools due to lack of infrastructure and teachers in the government schools, the ruling-BJD should first resolve the basic problems at the state-run schools, Samantasinghar added.

"Do you have the infrastructure in government schools? Odisha government has no rights to grant reservation in medical and engineering seats," said Congress MLA, Sura Routray.

However, BJD spokesperson Elina Dash said that the BJP is making such statements out of fear. "They are finding it hard to digest the popularity of the State government," she said adding that the Odisha government's decision will be an example and all states, including the BJP-ruled states, will follow and implement the same in the upcoming days.

It is pertinent to mention here that of the 48,000 schools in Odisha (including 9,000 high schools) around 21,000 and 14,000 teacher posts are lying vacant in primary and high schools in the State.

"A school may be private or government is treated as same. Hence, the quota will be given to students of state-run schools, it can be challenged in court," said educationist, Basant Pati.

Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) secretary, Binod Dash said the State government's decision will yield nothing without enhancing the infrastructure and the number of teachers in state-run schools as the students can't qualify in the exam and subsequently, the reserved seats will get de-reserved.