If voted to power, irregularities in teachers' recruitment to be probed: Bengal BJP

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Kolkata, Feb 17 (PTI) An inquiry panel will be set up to probe alleged irregularities in the appointment of teachers in West Bengal if the BJP is voted to power in the upcoming assembly polls, a saffron party leader said.

BJP leader Shamik Bhhattacharya said that there was not an iota of transparency in the recruitment of teachers since 2014, and the merit list released this week was no exception.

West Bengal Board of Primary Education on Monday released the state-wide merit list for the appointment of 15,284 primary teachers. The Board had earlier announced vacancies for 16,500 posts.

'Irregularities have been institutionalised by the Trinamool Congress government in the process of appointing teachers, even those on contractual basis', he alleged.

The state government, he said, should come out with a complete merit list and not just roll numbers.

The saffron party leader also alleged that para-teachers in West Bengal are facing huge disparity in salaries as compared to their counterparts in other states.

'On this issue, we will stage a protest march from College Street to Esplanade area in the city on February 19,' he added.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently announced a three per cent annual pay hike for para-teachers in the state budget, but they said it was not enough.

The education department had increased the salary of para-teachers at the primary level from Rs 5,954 to Rs 10,000 a month, and for those at the higher secondary level from Rs 8,500 to Rs 13,000.

A section of para-teachers on Tuesday staged a protest near the high-security zone of the chief minister's residence, stepping into a canal to press for a salary hike.

Contractual teachers have been holding a sit-in in the metropolis for more than 70 days, demanding immediate wage revision.

With the assembly elections round the corner, it has snowballed into a major political issue with the opposition BJP and Left Front accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of turning a blind eye to the plea of the para-teachers. PTI DC MM MM