scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Karnataka govt school teacher suspended for questioning Union Minister over fertiliser shortage

The suspended man has been identified as Kushal Patil, an assistant teacher at Jeerga (K) village primary school in Aurad taluk of the Bidar district

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bangalore |
Updated: June 27, 2022 4:17:16 pm
The education department last Thursday issued a suspension order after the conversation between Patil and Khuba (right) went viral where both exchanged heated arguments.

A government school teacher in Karnataka’s Bidar has been suspended for questioning Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Bhagwanth Khuba over the unavailability of fertilisers in the area.

The suspended man has been identified as Kushal Patil, an assistant teacher at Jeerga (K) village primary school in Aurad taluk of the Bidar district. Interestingly, Khuba represents the Bidar constituency in the Lok Sabha.

The education department last Thursday issued a suspension order after the conversation between Patil and Khuba went viral where both exchanged heated arguments. The Deputy Director of Public Instruction, on June 17, issued the order against Patil on charges of “dereliction of duty, irresponsibility and misconduct by intentionally recording the telephonic conversation and making it viral on social media platforms”.

In the preamble of the order, the officer referred to the complaint lodged by Deepak Patil Lambori demanding action against Patil for calling Khuba at midnight on June 15 to argue over the shortage of fertilisers and “defaming” the Union minister by making their telephonic conversation public. The officer referred to media reports and the preliminary inquiry report submitted by the Block Education Officer on the issue.

Subscriber Only Stories
Sajjid Chinoy: ‘The rupee is a better-performing currency against t...Premium
Delhi Confidential: Amid Bihar drama, will Harivansh step down as Deputy ...Premium
Constant sparring, communication gap, poaching shadow: Why Nitish quit NDAPremium
Nitish Aayog: Is stage being set for him as Opposition face against Modi?Premium

In the telephonic conversation, Khuba is heard telling Patil to approach local officials or MLAs if there was a shortage of fertilisers as a Union Minister he cannot attend to minor issues. It turns ugly as the argument heats as Patil dares the minister to come to the village seeking votes in the next elections.

Speaking to the Indian Express, Patil said it was his duty to draw the attention of people’s representatives and that he needs to address the injustice that the farming community is facing.

Patil, who owns about 88 acres of land where he grows sugar cane, seeds and other agricultural products, said that after his school hours (9 am-4 pm), he goes to the farm. “Our family is dependent on the earnings. The Union Government and Khuba are claiming that there is no dearth of fertilisers. But, the ground reality is that fertilisers are not available in the local market. We are running from pillar to post to get a bag of DAP,” said Patil.

Advertisement

This is not the first time that farmers are facing the unavailability of fertilisers, he added. “In October 2021, we had to procure fertilisers from Telangana and we went to Maharashtra as well for the same. People there laugh at us asking despite a Union Minister from your state and constituency, farmers from Karnataka go to other states for fertilisers.”

Speaking about his suspension, Patil said that he will not bend to these cheap tactics. “We have elected him and have every right to question him. We cannot allow this dictatorship. The district unit of the teachers’ association held a meeting on Monday and will decide the next court of action. I will not succumb to any pressures.”

Khuba told the Indian Express that there is no shortage of fertilisers in the area and alleged that Patil had called him multiple times over the phone on the same day. The Union minister said that after getting three missed calls on his phone from an unknown number, he called back.

Advertisement

“I attended a district review meeting on June 13 in Kalaburgi and 14 in Bidar. No one raised the issue, then. In fact, Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Society members came to my office on June 12 and felicitated me. They also did not raise any issue because there was no issue with fertiliser supply.”

“He can question me and he has all the rights but in the conversation, he threatened me. And he has released the audio on a public platform where he speaks rudely,” he added.

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Bangalore News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
First published on: 27-06-2022 at 03:52:05 pm

Featured Stories

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement