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Teachers Stir Rocks House

Bhubaneswar: The ongoing protest of teachers over their three charter demands has disturbed the House proceedings for the second day on Tuesday.

As Opposition Congress and BJP members created ruckus in the House from the beginning of the day, Speaker BK Arukha adjourned the House for several times including the last one till 4PM without transacting any business.

As soon as the House assembled for the day at 10.30 AM, Opposition Congress members first rushed to the well of the Assembly and raised slogans against the State Government.

Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati stood up on a chair to know the response of the State Government on Speaker Shri Arukha’s ruling on the teachers strike which entered the third day, today.

Speaker Shri Arukha appealed to the Opposition members to go back to their seats and raise the issue during the zero hour but the Opposition remained adamant on their demand. Later, BJP too joined the protest.  

As the House witnessed ruckus, the Speaker first adjourned it at 10.33 AM till 11.30 AM. The House reassembled at 11.30 AM after the adjournment but was again adjourned at 11.33 AM till 11.45 AM due to protest from the Opposition members.

The Speaker then convened an all-party meeting to resolve the issue and adjourned the house for ten minutes till 1155 hours.

When the House met at 1155 AM after third adjournment on Tuesday, Congress Legislature Party leader Narashingha Mishra, party MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati and Santosh Singh Saluja drew the attention of the Speaker about the ongoing agitation of the primary teachers and criticized the Government for not responding to the demands of the teachers.

Responding to the Speaker’s directive, Science and Technology Minister Ashok Panda in the absence of the School and Mass Education Minister, said the government is well aware of the teachers’ problem.

He said on Monday the S&ME Secretary had a discussion with the leaders of the striking teachers and on Tuesday the State Chief Secretary will hold a discussion with the teachers.

Shri Panda further said the teachers’ demands are linked to some other departments also and the Government is looking into all these aspects.

The Opposition however, continued their slogan shouting despite the reply of the Minister. Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said they will not allow the house to run as long as the demands of the teachers are not fulfilled.

Speaking to media persons outside the assembly, BJP Chief Whip Mohan Majhi slammed the State Government over the teachers’ stir in the State Capital.

“Schools are locked due to teachers’ protests. We want a debate in the assembly on teachers’ issues but School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash is busy campaigning for the Padampur by-poll,” Shri Majhi said.

On the other hand, BJD MLA Sashi Bhushan Behera requested the agitating teachers to call off the protest. “The Government is well aware of the plight of the teachers. So, I request them to call off the protest and return back to their homes,” he said. 

Thousands of Primary teachers from across the state under the banner of United Primary Teachers Federation are resorting to an indefinite dharna at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg since Sunday on their three-point charter of demands which included abolition of the contractual system, introduction of seventh pay scale, grade system and old pension system.