AAP cries foul over election duties for teachers

IANS
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has complained to the Election Commission (EC) against election duties being assigned to politically-affiliated teachers of Punjabi University at Patiala.

Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has complained to the Election Commission (EC) against election duties being assigned to politically-affiliated teachers of Punjabi University at Patiala.

Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, in a complaint to the Punjab Chief Electoral Officer pointed out that the district administration in Patiala, the home district of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, was assigning election duties for the May 19 Lok Sabha elections in the state to some politically influential teachers of Punjabi University.

He said these teachers owed allegiance to certain political outfits and were being given election duties where they could influence other voters.

Cheema said that as per the university Calendar, teachers at the university were free to participate in activities of or join any political party of their choice and even involve in their political affairs, directly or indirectly.

"They could also even contest elections with the permission of the university syndicate," Cheema added, citing the Calendar.

He said that some of the university teachers had, in the past, contested elections under the banner of various political outfits and rose to high positions due to political patronage.

The LoP claimed that Punjabi University teachers had never been assigned election duty till date even as they were free to support any of the political outfits under the norm.

He said this move was detrimental to the principle of free and fair conduct of the elections.

"This is a serious matter of grave high-handedness on part of the high and mighty in the system," Cheema said, demanding that such teachers should be immediately relieved of their election duties to meet the ends of justice.