Shimla: Even as the Congress today woke from its two month long snooze after the assemly elections in Himachal Pradesh to threaten against a mass revolt over hike in bus fares, it had little of the sort to say in context of the teachers’ recruitment through Parent Teachers Association (PTA) done during its regime that is now under scanner for irregularities.
When asked if the Congress was planning of any revolt strategy against the inquiry into PTA recruitments that involves about 15000 school teachers, this is what the Congress spokesperson Kuldeep Rathore had to say during a press conference held in Shimla today.
“Recruitment of teachers through the PTA was a stop gap arrangement, done to lap over the vacancy of teachers in various schools. Regular appointments would have taken a long time during which the students would have suffered.”
But why is the Congress quiet? “We are not quiet. Billi ko baste se bahar toh aane do. Let us see what course the inquiry instituted by the BJP takes. Looking at the inquiry report, the Congress would accordingly decide what to do”, said Rathore.
It is mentioned that almost a month after the BJP government had instituted an inquiry into the PTA recruitments, yesterday Education Minister I.D. Dhiman gave a hint and said that it is suspected that nearly 90 per cent of the recruitments might have irregularities. When in opposition the BJP had continuiously opposed the PTA recruitments calling them ‘back door appointments”.
Meanwhile, the Congress today threatened to agitate against the hike in bus fares in the state and demanded withdrawal of the 25 per cent bus fare hike. “If the Himachal Pardesh State Transport Corporation (HRTC) is in a financial tizzy the BJP should take a lesson from Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who successfully revived the railways”, said Rathore.
On the other hand six cabinet ministers of the BJP government- Forest Minister J.P. Nadda, Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta and Health Minister Rajiv Bindal Transport Minister Kishan Kapur, PWD Minister Gulab Singh, IPH Minister Ravinder Ravi today issued a joint statement to ridicule the Congress’ protest against the increase in bus fares. “The government would withdraw the bus fare hike if the UPA government rolled back the increase in oil prices, which had increased the operating costs of transport”, said the cabinet ministers in the joint statement.
Coming to rescue of its blue eyed boys in the bureaucracy, the Congress spokesperson criticized the BJP government for resorting to large scale transfers rather than beginning with the development works at the outset of its term. “If some officers were close to the Congress leaders or believed in the party’s ideology this does not mean that the BJP should act revengefully while deciding on the transfers”, said Rathore, without taking any names, off course.