Cong softens stand on JBT teachers’ appointments
Sukhjeevan Sharma,, INVC,, Chandigarh,, Against the backdrop of the aggressive campaign launched by the INLD following the jailing of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay Chautala in the JBT teachers' recruitment scam, the Hooda government seems to have taken a U-turn on the fate of the 3,206 controversially-recruited JBT teachers in the education department. In fact, the state government today gave enough indication of softening its stand regarding the legalities in the appointment of the teachers, with Chief Minister's political adviser Virender Singh asserting that "if there were no legal hurdles, the government's attitude regarding the appointment of these teachers was positive." Taking a politically correct stand, the political adviser went on add that Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda did not believe in taking away anybody's job. This is in sharp contrast to the repeated assertations made by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his education minister Geeta Bhukkal that the state government would take legal opinion before decisiding on the fate of these teachers. Sources said the state government had to modify its stand on these teachers as the INLD had launched an intense campaign, claiming that its leaders had gone to the jail for the sake of their "own people". With the INLD not in a mood to take the arrest of its leaders lying down, the Congress is now making desperate attempts to reassure the JBT teachers that it would make every effort to safeguard their jobs. With the state assembly and Lok Sabha elections slated for next year, there is hardly anything that the Hooda government, facing anti-incumbency, can do to antagonise the recruited teachers. Though the Chief Minister and the Education Minister are wary of taking a clear-cut stand on the controversial issue, Congress' second line of command has been pressed into service to counter INLD's "false propaganda".