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14 Feb 2017

Upper primary teachers hint at support for TMC

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Feb. 13: The voluntary teachers appointed to upper primary schools in the hills since 2011 under the Sarva Siksha Mission have hinted that they are not averse to joining hands with the Trinamul Congress.
The indication comes in the wake of the state government's verification of documents of secondary and higher secondary voluntary teachers in the hills for "wage revision". Most of those 500-odd teachers had pledged their support to Trinamul, after which the verification was conducted. They had been earlier with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
The New Set-Up Upper Primary Voluntary Teachers' Organisation today said with the body remaining apolitical, political parties in the hills were not serious about their demand. "We have consistently remained apolitical and we are now feeling that political parties are not taking up our issues seriously because of our apolitical nature," said Vivek Chhetri, the president of the organisation that represents 150 voluntary teachers of 27 upper primary schools.
Chhetri then issued a caveat. "From now onwards, we will openly support any political party that will work to provide justice for us."
He said the office-bearers of the organisation had already met GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung and would soon call on chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Chhetri's statement is a clear indication that the upper primary voluntary teachers are willing to extend their support to Trinamul. The secondary and higher secondary voluntary teachers have been seeking regularisation of their jobs for long and the verification of documents started after siding with Trinamul.
The upper primary voluntary teachers are not paid remuneration and want a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 till they are made permanent.

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