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Urban polls sans teachers in Bihar

Local body polls will be held minus the participation of school teachers for the first time, reports Anirban Guha Roy.

patna Updated: Apr 19, 2007 23:10 IST

For the first time in Bihar, an election will be held minus the participation of school teachers, which is a departure from the existing practice of putting teachers in poll related work. The new rule will be implemented in the ensuing urban polls for 2,900 posts in local bodies, scheduled in May.

The State Election Commission( SEC) on Thursday categorically directed all the District magistrates (DMs) and Divisional Commissioners( DCs) to ensure that primary teachers were not put in any election work. If need be, services of teachers of high school and colleges could be taken, secretary, SEC, Raghuvansh Kumar Sinha informed.

Over 30,000 school teachers will thus be off from election work in the urban polls. In last few decades, Bihar’s education standard especially in government schools have taken a beating due to the preoccupation of teachers in non-academic work like preparing electoral rolls, census work and pulse polio drive.

But last year the Nitish Kumar government took a policy decision to keep off teachers from non- academic work so that they could concentrate on teaching in schools. An estimated 50,000 teachers were deployed in election work in the last assembly polls in 2005.

Other directives issued by the SEC to DMs were to start a drive to arrest anti-social elements and habitual offenders in urban areas as well as execute all pending warrants.

The State Election Commissioner, JK Datta, who chaired the meeting, also directed the DCs and DMs to send the requirement of security force of their respective districts, constitute polling parties in a random manner and issue identity cards to polling personnel so that chances to curb electoral malpractices.

First Published: Apr 19, 2007 23:06 IST