May 20, 2021 2:43:30 am
On a day when Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi said only three teachers have died of Covid after doing panchayat poll duty, two girls protested outside the residence of the Badaun DM on Tuesday with the body of their father in an ambulance. The daughters said that their father, a head teacher at a local government school, fell sick after doing poll duty, and demanded his death be considered as one on poll duty.
Over a fortnight after the completion of panchayat polls in the state, the tussle between the teachers and the government over the death of those engaged in poll duty from Covid-19 has intensified.
While teachers’ groups have claimed that 1,621 teachers have died after getting infected by Covid-19 during panchayat poll duty, the government has been rejecting the claims.
The government maintains that death on poll duty will be considered only when someone died at or during their travel back home, and has cited the Election Commission guidelines.
Opposition parties have also lashed out at the BJP government, accusing it of lying and being insensitive to the teachers’ woes. “The BJP government is creating a ‘world record of big lies’. How would the heartless BJP members realise the grief of these families?” SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said.
Dwivedi refuted the Opposition’s charge and said the figure of 1,621 deaths of teachers during poll duty was wrong.
“While the claims being made of so many deaths during poll duty, over which even Opposition parties are doing politics is wrong and misleading,” he said, reiterating that only three teachers died during poll duty.
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