New Delhi, Oct. 30: The controversy over state HRD minister and Congress leader Geetashree Oraon’s remarks that the results of students, who appeared for Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) in Bhojpuri and Magahi, should be cancelled has reached Delhi.
Worried that Oraon’s repeated attempts to rake up the domicile issue would infuriate and alienate non-tribals in Jharkhand, Congress MLA from Daltonganj K.N. Tripathi met the party’s general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand B.K. Hariprasad and other leaders on Tuesday and demanded that the minister be asked to withdraw her statements.
“Even though we are party colleagues, I have no qualms in accepting that the stand taken by her is wrong. Bhojpuri and Magahi are dialects spoken by a large population in Gangetic plains and her statements will have big political repercussions. We cannot let the party’s poll perspectives get harmed because of one person,” K.N. Tripathi said.
Oraon, who represents Sisai (Gumla) in the state Assembly, is not only a prominent tribal face of the party, but also its national secretary.
“Senior party leaders have assured me that the issue will be taken up with the state unit. I hope this matter will be solved before it snowballs into a major controversy,” Tripathi added.
Last week, Oraon had said that candidates who appeared for TET in Bhojpuri would be disqualified as it was not the state’s second language. Earlier, state PCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat had also criticised Oraon, saying it was an “irresponsible statement”.
However, the minister could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.
According to sources, 11 languages have been accorded second language status in Jharkhand. In TET, which was conducted by Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) around three-and-a-half-months ago, there were options of writing the answers in many tongues, including Bhojpuri and Magahi.
Around 17,000 teachers will be appointed in the state through the exam. Of them, 4,000 are to teach regional languages such as Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili.