Chandigarh April 16 – Senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia today came out strongly in support of the agitating teachers who have been protesting the government’s decision to drastically slash their salaries at the time of regularisation of contractual teachers’ services. The Akali leader said that the teachers demand for protecting their pay at the time of regularisation of those on contractual assignment is fully justified.
Mr Majithia accused the government of buying out the loyalty of Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira and his Aam Admi Party by arranging a clean chit for him in order to withdraw the cases registered against him while it was adopting a policy of dangerous and destructive vendetta against teachers in whose hands the destiny of our children rests”
Mr Majithia had raised the issue in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, also demanding the immediate withdrawal of all the cases registered against the peacefully protesting teachers, also supporting their demand for pay protection
“Many of these teachers have been drawing salaries around Rs 50,000 per month during the government headed by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal while the present government now wants to force them to accept a basic salary of around only Rs 10,00 – a drastic and unbearable cut of over 75%. Would anyone in the top echelons in the present government agree to work at just 20% of their present salary. If not , how do you expect poor teachers to run their families’ expenses at such drastically slashed pay? ” the Akali leader asked the Congress government.
Mr Majithia said that the principle of natural justice demanded that the last pay drawn by the teachers who have been working on contractual assignment for years must be protected. It is unthinkable that while the salaries of every other category of employees in the government have been witnessing a rise, the government wants to force the makers of the country’s future to work on 1/ 5th ( One Fifth) of the pay being drawn by them in their present capacity ,” said Mr Majithia in his statement.
The former Revenue Minister also came down heavily against government on the non-withdrawal of cases registered against thousands of peacefully protesting teachers while at the same time securing clean chits against its ‘political assistants in the Congress’ “B team”, the Aam Admi Party.’ “ What could be more insensitive and duplicitous than the double standards adopted by the Congress government while dealing with cases of ‘ the high and mighty political big wigs like the Congress’ proxy-voice and AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira on the one hand and the false cases registered against innocent and peaceful teachers on the other. The Congress has struck a quid pro quo with Khaira in a “loyalty buy-out package” to secure his and his party’s unstinted support on all anti-people policies by securing withdrawal of cases against him through a politically motivated Commission report favouring Khaira. Similarly, the government had also arranged the withdrawal of cases against Mr Simranjit Singh Mann through a similarly pre-arranged clean-slip from the Commission.
But, said the Akali leader, the poor and defenseless teachers, who have been working day and night to shape the destiny of our children, have been made the target of government’s vengeful policy by booking them on serious charges simply because they were exercising their democratic right to agitate peacefully for the fulfillment of their legitimate demands. The fact is that the Congress government needs Mr. Khaira and Mr. Mann while it clearly considers the teachers “utterly useless for them” ,” said Mr Majithia in a statement here this evening.
It may be recalled that Members of various teachers’ associations, including Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), Computer Teachers’ Union Punjab, Mid-day Meal Officers’ Employees Union, Government Adarsh and Model School Employees’ Union are agitating in support of their demand for regularization alongwith pay protection. Thousands of the agitating teachers have been booked on cooked up charges under various clauses by the government.