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Olive branch to contract teachers

Chief minister Nitish Kumar in Aurangabad on Wednesday. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary

Patna, Oct. 10: Extending an olive branch to agitating contractual teachers, chief minister Nitish Kumar today assured their four representatives of considering their wage revision demand sympathetically.

Nitish met a four-member delegation of teachers headed by Bihar Panchayat Nagar Sikshak Sangh secretary Jayant Kumar Singh at Aurangabad on the sidelines of an Adhikar Yatra rally.

“The delegation handed a memorandum to the chief minister, who gave its representatives a patient hearing. Nitish even assured them of considering hike in their pay,” said JD(U) MLA of Rafiganj Ashok Kumar Singh, instrumental in organising the meeting.

The MLA said the contractual teachers had burnt the effigy of the Bihar chief minister in Aurangabad Town protesting against his visit two days back.

“I met the contractual teachers after their demonstration and convinced them to meet Nitish. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere,” he said.

Nitish had aired his anger against the contractual teachers agitating at his public meetings in Motihari, Darbhanga and other places demanding regularisation of services. He had even declared that he would not consider their demands. But the chief minister sounded conciliatory in the past couple of days.

He remarked that 2.5 lakh contractual teachers were appointed in his regime and he would find a solution to their problems.

He even appealed to them to support his demand for special status to the state.

A JD(U) source hinted that the chief minister held parleys with contractual teachers in Begusarai earlier.

“After Begusarai, political parties and not the teachers were behind most of the protests,” said a JD(U) MP, pointing out the RJD leaders’ involvement in violence in Khagaria.

He also insisted that slippers and chairs thrown at Nawada at the behest of a local RJD leader.

Proving the MP wrong, some contractual teachers allegedly shouted slogans against Nitish soon after he left the Anugrah Narayan Stadium after addressing the rally. They even brought down banners and posters and set them ablaze.

Singh, the Rafiganj MLA, however, said: “Criminals sponsored by political opponents created the ruckus. The incident occurred when the crowd was leaving the venue peacefully after listening to the chief minister’s speech.”

Superintendent of police Daljit Singh said additional policemen were deployed as a precautionary measure and peace had been restored.