A bunch of teachers’ from various unions of Punjab reached the Ridge area in poll-bound Himachal on Sunday to hold what they termed was a protest to expose the falsehoods that had been propogated by the Aam Aadmi Party.
The protest — which was dubbed as ‘Pol Khol’ by the unions — saw participation of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) , Elementary Teacher Training -TET/ pass union (Jai Singh Wala), and Open Distance Learning (ODL) Union. The protesters said they had been duped by the AAP government in Punjab, which came to power in Punjab earlier this year, and their demands for regularisation of jobs had fallen on deaf ears so far. They added that once the Gujarat Assembly poll dates were announced, they will go to that state too to ask people against voting for the AAP.
Vikram Dev Singh , president of DTF Punjab said,”We held the protest Sunday to warn Himachali voters not to to fall into the AAP’s trap . This was a Pol khol’rally against AAP in general and against Punjab’s Education Minister Harjot Singh Bains — who is also the in-charge of Himachal Pradesh polls — in particular. The AAP claims to have brought about a plethora of changes in Punjab’s education system. But we are here to tell the truth.”
Baljinder Grewal , state president of ODL Union, said,” There are 125 teachers of our union who hold multiple degrees but have done one or the other degree through ODL are waiting to be regularised. Most of us are working on meagre salary for the past 11 years. Before Punjab polls, we were promised by Bhagwant Mann that we will be regularised. But now, no one is ready to even spare time for us.”
Singh added,”Education minister, Harjot Singh Bains, met us on October 13 at Chandigarh for around 5-7 minutes. During the meeting, he asked us to stop staging dharnas if we wanted our demands to be implemented. The AAP as a party was born out of dharnas. We told Bains that he had no democratic right to tell us to stop protesting .”
He added that all the unions will stage a massive dharna in Bains’ constituency Anandpur Sahib on November 6.