Left Front chairman Biman Bose and leaders of CPI(M)’s frontal organisations Saturday pledged support to the aspiring school teachers who are on relay hunger strike for 24 days demanding recruitment to vacant posts in state-run and state-aided institutes. Bose, a senior CPI(M) leader, claimed that he came to the agitators at their venue here as a citizen and not as the leader of a political party and expressed solidarity with their demands.
“I fully agree to their claims that despite qualifying in the School Service Commission (SSC) written test in 2016, the deserving candidates have not been called for interview and there have been irregularities in the recruitment process,” he said. The SFI and DYFI, student and youth wings of the CPI(M) respectively, also took out a rally in the city in support of the SSC candidates.
SFI general secretary Srijon Bhattacharya said, “It is a matter of regret that the chief minister did not visit the agitating candidates in the past 24 days.” One of the agitators Pratap Roy Chowdhury claimed, “Some officials of the Kolkata Police showed us a letter sent by the Army to the police. In the letter, the Army said it apprehended violence if we continue with the protests at this venue. On that basis, the police want us to withdraw the agitation.”
The Army is the custodian of the Maidan, on a part of which the aspiring teachers are continuing their dharna. There was no indication of any violence in all these 24 days and “we will leave the spot once we get assurance that our demands will be met,” Roy Chowdhury said.
SFI leader Srijon Bhattacharya said, “We will come to the support of the agitators – if there is any move to forcibly stop the movement, or evict them.” While two agitators had to be hospitalised from the relay fast venue on Wednesday, two others Buddhadeb Mondal and Tania Seth, fell sick today.
Education Minister Partha Chatterjee Friday met representatives of the aspiring teachers and later announced that a committee was formed to look into their demands. The agitators, on dharna and relay fast since February 28 under the banner of the SSC Yuva-Chhatra Adhikar Manch, were claiming that a large number of teachers’ posts were lying vacant but the authorities were not calling them for interview though they have the requisite qualifications.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS, earlier slammed the authorities alleging precious little was done to end the impasse.