Second teacher scam engulfs Yogi government
The Yogi Adityanath government was on Tuesday grappling with a second appointment controversy, involving 69,000 teachers, amid an already raging scandal over 25 school science teachers being recruited on the basis of forged BEd certificates in the name of “Anamika Shukla”.
Media reports had said that many candidates had paid bribes to be able to cheat during a recruitment test in January for the post of 69,000 assistant teachers in state government schools.
The controversy burst into the spotlight on Tuesday morning with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party boss Mayawati issuing statements on it.
By afternoon, police had arrested six people in Allahabad on the charge of facilitating the cheating. State basic education minister Satish Dwivedi then called a news conference to highlight the action taken and accuse the Opposition of maligning the government.
“One Rahul had complained in May that some people had demanded a bribe from him for a confirmed job as assistant teacher. We investigated it promptly and concluded that candidates were helped in solving their papers at a particular exam centre in Allahabad,” he said.
“The police’s special task force has arrested a doctor, K.L. Gupta, and five others. We are also investigating the role of the staff at the centre.”
Neither Gupta, a private practitioner, nor the five alleged accomplices were allowed to talk to the media.
Dwivedi said the accused had accepted anything between Rs 8 and 12 lakh per examinee in bribes. He then targeted the Opposition.
“The Opposition parties, which are addicted to corruption, are trying to put a hurdle on our way by alleging a scam,” he said.
Dwivedi went on to accuse the Opposition of “organising” both this controversy and the Anamika Shukla scandal to malign Adityanath.
He remained mum when asked repeatedly how the Opposition could be responsible when the appointment process was planned and executed entirely by the Adityanath government.
After the January tests, the shortlisted candidates were called for counselling from June 6 to 8, but the lockdown has led to the dates being scrapped.
Mayawati has demanded a CBI probe, saying people were “suspicious”. Akhilesh tweeted that the youth “would happily give the chief minister a send-off if he doesn’t withhold the appointments”.
Priyanka said in a Facebook message the state government was doing an injustice to the youth by promoting corruption.
The real Anamika Shukla surfaced in Gonda district on Tuesday and held an informal news conference in front of the district collectorate office.
She said she had applied for a science teacher’s job at a Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) in Gonda in 2018 but was rejected. “Then I came to learn about the scandal from media reports,” she said.
She then entered the collectorate and handed her BEd certificate to the local basic education department official.
Twenty-five BEd certificates, each carrying her name and the photo of a different woman, allegedly helped these 25 women bag jobs in the KGBVs — central government schools where state governments make appointments.
Dwivedi had earlier in the day tried to ward off corruption charges by stressing how the police had “acted immediately” and arrested one of the 25 accused, Supriya Singh, from Kasganj. “The police are searching for the kingpin,” he said, a day after Supriya’s father had made public the suspect’s purported profession, workplace and district of residence and the name he allegedly operated under.