Three teachers on poll-duty died due to COVID, not 1600: UP Minister's claim mounts pressure on Yogi govt

Growing pressure by employee-teachers bodies sees CM Yogi Adityanath assure that government is committed to kin of all deceased teachers-employees

Published: 20th May 2021 11:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2021 12:19 AM   |  A+A-

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: A major controversy has erupted in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh after state’s Primary Education Minister Satish Chandra Dwivedi claimed that just three teachers and not 1600-plus teachers -who were deployed in recent Panchayat poll duties had died of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Dwivedi had said, "Some teachers bodies and opposition parties politicians are spreading misinformation about 1600-plus teachers of the Basic Shiksha Parishad having died during the panchayat poll duties. As per the report of the State Election Commission (SEC) only three teachers have died during the panchayat poll duties. The dependents of those teachers will be provided government jobs as well as Rs 30 lakh as compensation.”

Not only have the UP Prathmik Shikshak Sangh and State Government Employees Association accused the Yogi Adityanath government of concealing the actual death figures of teachers who died of COVID, after being deployed in Panchayat poll duty. And all opposition parties, including SP, BSP and Congress too have slammed the government over the development.

Sensing the growing pressure by the employees and teachers associations in the matter following threats by them to strike over the government observation, the UP CM Yogi Adityanath directed the state’s chief secretary and the additional chief secretary (ACS-Panchayati Raj) to discuss the matter with the SEC and find ways to compensate teachers and other state government employees, who died of COVID-19, after duties in the panchayat polls.

"Every death is sad for us and the government is sensitive and committed to the kin of all those employees who lost their lives due to COVID. The government is with the families of all those employees, including teachers, cops and other employees, who either lost lives during the poll duty or else died after being infected with COVID during the poll duties,” the CM said in a official statement issued on Thursday.

Reacting sharply to the minister’s statements, the Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shikshak Sangh head, Dinesh Chandra Sharma said that 1,621 teachers and workers of the Basic Education Department have died since the first week of April following the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19. Of these 1,621 deaths, more than 90 per cent of the teachers were on panchayat election duty. He also demanded Rs 1 crore as compensation to the kin of each of the deceased teachers and state government employees, who died of COVID infection contracted during the poll duty.

The state basic school teachers’ body head found support from the State Employees Union leader Hari Kishore Tewari, who accused the government of concealing the actual casualty figures. “In the list of Jhansi district only which has been released by DM-Jhansi on May 8, ten deaths were shown in Jhansi alone due to Covid, which proves that the government is lying.”


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