Jaipur: A curious order issued by the Rajasthan government addressing BJP workers in the state has drawn sharp reactions from the opposition as well as teacher’s associations who have accused the government of bringing politics into policy decisions.
The order seeks transfer requests from party workers of their relatives in the education department.
Dated February 16, the order asks all MLAs and district party presidents to email any transfer requests they have for themselves or their relatives in the state education department. It even includes a meticulously drafted proforma for party workers desirous of such transfers.
“Any (existing or former) party office bearers or senior workers in your assembly constituency area who want a transfer for themselves or members of their family, should email the details in the format given below,” the order states.
Smarting after its loss in the Lok Sabha and assembly by-polls earlier this month, the BJP government’s move is being seen as a ploy to placate disgruntled party workers.
Following the defeat, at least two BJP leaders have spoken out against chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who is often perceived to be inaccessible to workers.
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The opposition slammed the government, calling the order “unprecedented”. The move also drew sharp reactions from teacher associations.
“It is deplorable and clearly exposes the BJP as an unethical, corrupt party encouraging nepotism and extending favours to its party workers using the government apparatus. The loss in the by-polls has brought forth this party’s true character,” state Congress president Sachin Pilot said.
“The government should apologise and immediately withdraw the order. We will take this up in the assembly and if they dont withdraw it, we will explore legal options,”he told The Wire.
State BJP chief Ashok Parnami, however, defended the move.
“Whats wrong in it? We have just invited proposals from party workers about the transfer of their relatives in the education department,” Parnami told The Wire.
“The Congress should look at its own record. Did it not invite similar lists during transfers? We have made the entire process transparent by formulating a transfer policy. Eventually, everything will be done according to the policy,” he said.
Teacher transfers are an extremely sensitive issue in Rajasthan, fraught with allegations of political interference and corruption regardless of which government is in power.
Teachers form a substantial part of the workforce, as well as the electorate, in the state. In fact, capital Jaipur alone has 68,033 teachers, according to the MHRD’s Unified District Information system for Education (U-DiSE). The number of government school teachers in the state is estimated at over 300,000.