Finally, there's hope of an agreement between the protesting Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) teachers and the state government. Fixed for Sunday, a meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to end the deadlock that persists even after three days of the death of a girl child during the agitation.
The failed Friday evening talks with the district administration had prompted the protesters to delay the funeral further. At Gyana village near Talwandi Sabo, 30 kilometers from the protest site, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, said on Saturday that the CM had agreed to see the teachers for a final decision. Asked about any move to identify the officials responsible for the death of 14-month-old Eknoor Kaur "Rooth", he stuck to the theory that it was malnutrition that killed the child.
In a further attempt to absolve the district administration of the responsibility for the incident, he feigned ignorance of the reports that the child's mother and other protesters camping in Bathinda had been robbed of quilts on a cold night last Sunday, and said he would look into the matter.
Asked about the basic demand of the protesters for jobs back, he said the union government wanted them to clear the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) first and the state government had only followed the guidelines to ensure the quality of education. He accused the opposition Congress of trying to exploit the death of a girl child for political gains.