Bhubaneswar: Pandemonium continued in Odisha Assembly for the second day on Tuesday as opposition BJP and Congress members created ruckus in the House over the issue of ongoing protests by the primary school teachers.
Thousands of primary school teachers from across the state are on an indefinite stir here at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg since Sunday on their three-point charter of demands which include the abolition of the contractual system, resuming the old pension system and increasing the grade pay while counting their six years of teaching experience.
As soon as the House assembled for the day at 10.30 a.m., Congress and BJP members rushed to the well of the Assembly and raised slogans against the state government for its ‘anti-teacher’ policy.
Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati stood up on a chair to know the response of the state government to Speaker B.K. Arukh’s ruling on the teachers strike.
Notably, the Speaker, on Monday, had directed the government to pay attention to the teachers’ demands.
As the House witnessed noisy scenes, the Speaker first adjourned it till 11.30 a.m. and again till 11.45 a.m.
Later, the Speaker called an all-party meeting to resolve the issue, adjourning the proceedings till 11.55 a.m.
When the House met at 11.55 a.m., both the BJP and the Congress members targeted the state government for not looking into the demands of teachers.
On behalf of School and Mass Education (S&ME) Minister Samir Ranjan Dash, Science and Technology Minister Ashok Panda said the government is well aware of the teachers’ problem.
The S&ME secretary had a discussion with the leaders of the agitating teachers on Monday and the Chief secretary will hold a discussion with the teachers today.
Panda further said the teachers’ demands are linked to some other departments also and the government is looking into all these aspects.
However, the opposition members remained adamant and continued their slogan shouting.
In such a scenario, the House was adjourned till 4 p.m.
In the afternoon too, following protest by the opposition, the Speaker adjourned the House till Wednesday – 10.30 a.m.
Speaking to media persons outside the Assembly, BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi said: “Despite knowing the basic problems faced by the teachers, the BJD government has not taken any action to resolve their issues. Schools are locked due to teachers’ protests. The future of students is in the dark now.”
The absence of the concerned Minister, who is busy campaigning for the Padampur by-poll, is unfortunate, Majhi said.
Similarly, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said the state government does not care about the direction of the Speaker while the concerned minister is not attending the House, Why does the government and Assembly run, for whom? he asked.
On the other hand, BJD MLA Shashi Bhusan Behera said: “The government is well aware of the plight of the teachers and it will take some decisions considering the financial condition. So, I request the teachers to call off the protest and return back to their home.”