Lucknow: The UP government on Tuesday hit out at the opposition accusing it of trying to “derail’ the appointment of 69,000 basic teachers, even as BSP chief Mayawati sought a CBI inquiry and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra backed the aspirants.
On June 3, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had stayed the appointment process, after which the UP government challenged the interim order. The court on Monday reserved its order on the state government pleas.
“A number of allegations were levelled by the opposition against the UP government over the recruitment of 69,000 teachers in Basic Education Department. This is an attempt to derail the entire appointment process. We will abide by the court decisions in the matter,” UP Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi said on Tuesday.
Hours after his remarks at a press conference, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at an online media briefing announced her party’s support for the aspirants, alleging that paper leaks and irregularities in marking had become a norm in the state.
She asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to take responsibility for it.
The Congress leader had on Monday called the issue ‘UP’s Vyapam scam’ in reference to the case regarding irregularities in exams held by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board.
In a tweet, BSP supremo Mayawati said, “New revelations related to irregularities and corruption in the recruitment of 69,000 teachers in UP are coming forward every day. This has become a big issue. The people have their apprehensions. In this situation, a CBI probe should be conducted. This is the demand of the BSP.”
Emphasising that the Uttar Pradesh government has “zero tolerance” for corruption, the UP minister said in May, a person named Rahul had alleged that money was demanded from him in return for job and acting on his complaint the Allahabad police had arrested K L Patel, S K Bind and 11 others.
During the probe, it was found that Chandra Yadav, the manager of Panchamlal Ashram Ucchatar Madhyamik Vidyalaya in Allahabad, a centre for the teachers’ recruitment examination, was involved in “unlawfully” helping aspirants in selection, the minister said.
Dwivedi said though Rahul’s allegation did not affect the results, the government has decided to hand over the probe to the Special Task Force.
As students of many districts had appeared for the exam at this centre, the STF will look at all details, the minister said.
Clarifying the issue of anomalies in extending reservation, the minister said, “A matter was raised that one candidate with Tiwari surname was selected in the OBC category. We want to tell that the process of application is online and there was no document verification, which was to be done in counselling.”
Dwivedi said the counselling was postponed on court orders.
The minister said a political campaign is being run against the recruitment by those whose “khandani pesha” (traditional occupation) is corruption. The Allahabad High Court has reserved its order on three special pleas of the UP government challenging the stay on the appointment of 69,000 assistant basic teachers in the state.
The matter was heard by a division bench of Justices P K Jaiswal and D K Singh of the court’s Lucknow bench on Monday, a day after the UP Examination Regulatory Authority (ERA) on behalf of the state government challenged a single-bench interim order, terming it “unwarranted and illegal”.
Justice Alok Mathur of the Lucknow bench on June 3 had stayed the selection process, prima facie finding that certain questions and answers were ‘ambiguous and wrong’ and, hence, required fresh scrutiny by the UGC.
The HC bench had held that there has been an ‘error’ in the evaluation of question paper.
In its appeals, the ERA pleaded that the single-bench order was not sustainable as it did not consider the preliminary objection of maintainability in the right perspective and the writ petitions were not maintainable because the petitioners had not arrayed all candidates who had stood successful in the result declared on May 8.
The recruitment examination was held on January 6, 2019 and its result was declared on May 12 this year.
Earlier, the Supreme Court on May 21 had asked the state government to explain the process adopted for the appointment through a chart, posting the matter for further hearing on July 6.
It asked the Uttar Pradesh government to explain why it changed the earlier criteria of 45 per cent cut-off marks for the general category and 40 per cent for the reserved category.