The Election Commission on Friday let off Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav with a ‘warning’ for threatening school teachers appointed on contract by Uttar Pradesh government to either vote for his party in Lok Sabha polls or risk losing permanent status.
The EC’s decision came after Yadav assured it that he will not make any reference to shiksha mitras (contractual government primary school teachers) in his election campaign. Shiksha mitras are ad hoc teachers at government primary schools in UP.
The Commission said it is convinced that Yadav made the remarks and violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct.
“Now, therefore, the Commission, hereby warns him to be careful in future and expects that he shall not make any statement during election campaigning which may constitute a violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” the order read.
In his reply to the show cause notice, Yadav had said that the decision to regularise the shiksha mitras was taken by the UP government before the election was announced. He also said that being a president of a party he had no power to amend or modify the decision.
He also denied threatening to withdraw the decision to regularise the teachers if they do not support the SP in elections.
According to the EC’s show cause notice, addressing an election rally in Bulandshahr in UP on April 3, Yadav had threatened shiksha mitras to vote for SP or else their regularisation will be withdrawn.
“As far as shiksha mitras are concerned, we have done it (made them permanent)…we have done it, now give your vote. If you do not vote, we’ll withdraw it,” EC quoted Yadav as saying.
The Commission also reminded him of the provision in the Model Code which bars the party in power, whether at the Centre or in the state, to use its official position for the purposes of its election campaign.