Rumblings have started surfacing among a section of the teaching staff in state-run schools over indiscriminate allotment of polling duties for the forthcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal.
The grudges have started surfacing among headmasters of state-run schools or very senior teachers who have been allotted duties as ordinary polling officers.
The school teachers' body has pointed out that allotting polling duties to school teachers has been in practice for a long time, and as per the tradition, the headmasters or senior teachers in state-run schools were allotted the duties of 'presiding officers' instead of subordinate 'polling officers'.
Now, the question automatically arises on why such "demotion in allotment of duty" was done this time for the headmasters and senior teachers.
A prominent teachers' body has alleged such 'demotions' had been mainly made applicable for those headmasters and senior teachers who took active role in the agitation by the joint forum of state government employees, demanding enhanced dearness allowances at par with the central government employees and the arrears accrued on it.
According to state secretary of West Bengal Teachers' Association, Kinkar Adhikari, has claimed offering duties of ordinary polling officers is an insult for the headmasters and senior teachers. "This had been done deliberately to humiliate them. They are paying the price for participating in the dearness allowance agitation," he added.
However, the leadership of Trinamool Congress-affiliated teachers' association has described such allegations as baseless and an attempt to unnecessarily politicise the issue.
Meanwhile, the joint forum of the state government employees has decided to contest the plea of state government and West Bengal state election commission at the Supreme Court for quashing of an order by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court directing central armed forces deployment throughout the state for the forthcoming panchayat polls.
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