Business Standard

Mamata urges SSC candidates to end hunger strike


IANS Kolkata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Wednesday met agitating School Service Commission (SSC) candidates and said the government would try to find a solution in the first week of June, after conclusion of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Wednesday was the 28th day of the hunger strike by SSC candidates. She also urged them to end the hunger strike.
Over 400 successful SSC candidates in Bengal are on the hunger strike at Mayo Road, here, since February 28, accusing the state government of irregularities in appointing assistant teachers at state-run schools.
They are demanding that recruitments be made immediately against the numerous vacancy in across the state.
Banerjee also asked State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to include five of the agitating candidates in the expert committee, headed by Education Department Secretary Manish Jain, to make a comprehensive report.
"Please include five members from among the candidates in the expert committee. It would be easier to understand each other's issues. I have no problem if a one-time solution could be found. I would request you to discuss it among yourselves and withdraw the hunger strike," she said.
Stating that nothing can be done immediately as that would violate the model code of conduct, Banerjee said, "We cannot do something arbitrarily as that would be challenged in court. Something has to be done within the policy. My sympathy is with you. Give us a chance to work out a solution. Give me some time.
"I am instructing Partha da (Chatterjee) to do something by the first week of June. You can keep faith in me," she said.
The agitating candidates, all of whom have successfully cleared both SSC written test and interview more than a year ago, urged the state government to publish the list of qualified candidates along with marks obtained by them. Also, notify the exact number of vacancies for teachers in state-run schools, they said.
Nearly 80 agitators, many of them women, have fallen ill and two would-be mothers suffered miscarriage. Two others got infected by dengue during the hunger strike.

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First Published: Mar 27 2019 | 9:28 PM IST

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