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Election office at loggerheads with state on teachers' election duty

The quick relief felt by hundreds of teachers after news broke that they will be exempted from election duty will not last for long. As the District Election Office which sensing that they would be losing out on hundreds of hands has now made it clear that it was only a Government circular which was being considered as a Government Resolution.


Will fight on: Despite a recent government circular stating that teachers can be exempted from election duty, the election office is not ready to let teacher’s go. File Pic

The District Election Department is today sending a letter to the state Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Gadre to bring to his notice that the state government should remove the misconception from the minds of teachers and the political parties who were fighting for teacher’s rights that it was just a government circulation and not a resolution.

The department has also attached the copy of the Supreme Court’s verdict of 2007, where a bench of Justice S B Sinha and Justice HS Bedi said that services of government teachers can be utilized for such purposes during school holidays and non-teaching hours.

“SC’s decision itself is the final decision on the matter of election duty for teachers however, the state government circular spread misconception that it was the state government’s resolution where it was mentioned that teachers would be exempted from election related work,” said Naib Tehsildar in District Election Office, Ashok Kamble.

“There are more than four thousand teachers in the district who are working as Booth Level Officers. The next year is declared as the election year therefore we require as many BLO as possible for the election related work,” said Kamble. He raised the question that if state government would take the decision of exempting teachers from election duty then how can election related work be completed next year.

Vice-President of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Ajay Shinde said that if it was the government’s circular then the state government would publicly declare that it was a mockery on the part of the state government. MNS was fighting for the cause and after Government circulation, political party even claimed that it was done because of the party’s efforts.  

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