Odisha govt neglecting teachers: Dharmendra Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today criticized the Odisha government for neglecting the demands of teachers who have been staging demonstration for the past 23 days in Bhubaneswar.

Pradhan, who met the agitating teachers at Lower PMG square in Bhubaneswar today, alleged that the Odisha government has money to strengthen its own vote bank but doesn’t want to bear Rs 800 crore burden for resolving the grievances of teachers.

“It is not only an issue pertaining to teachers alone as the fate of nearly 35 lakh students now hangs in balance,” said Pradhan.

The Union Minister stated that Odisha government can spend and make a provision of Rs 1200 crore under the ‘Ama Gaon, Ama Vikas’ programme and has Rs 400 crore to distribute among party workers through the Biju Yuva Vahini.

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“It is unfortunate the way Odisha government has turned a blind eye towards the demands of teachers,” Pradhan said stating further that though education is totally a State subject, 14th Finance Commission has given additional funds for the development of education in Odisha.

It is pertinent to mention here that the teachers under the aegis of Odisha School College Teachers and Employees United Forum (OSCTEUF) have been staging dharna at the Lower PMG since August 16.

The agitating teachers have been demanding withdrawal of the controversial affidavit clause in the newly-announced grant-in-aid system, besides equal salary for equal work, provision of full aid and several other service conditions.