New Delhi, Nov 22 : The Lok Sabha on Friday reverberated over indefinite protests by para teachers in West Bengal with the treasury benches alleging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's failure to deal with the issue which caused an uproar in the House as Trinamool Congress members stood on their seats rejecting any blame.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member and MP from West Bengal's Hoogly constituency, Locket Chatterjee, raised the issue during Zero Hour, saying it has been 12 days and the strike is still on and one para teacher has died and several protesters are hospitalised.
"What about the small children when teachers are striking for their future? Education Minister has not replied over the issue yet.
West Bengal Chief Minister hasn't spoken a single word over the issue. The para teachers are protesting for their rights of education. West Bengal government is not doing anything. If the protest goes on like this, many teachers will die.
"The West Bengal government will kill all teachers.
We should do something for the teachers. No intellectual is speaking over the issue. This is the identity of education in West Bengal. What is happening in West Bengal is a very serious issue. The West Bengal government does not honour teachers and education. Children are also in the protest. There is no law and order in West Bengal," Chatterjee said.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MPs stood on their seats and came to the front row rejecting allegations of the BJP lawmaker.
The verbal spat between the two parties continued for over 10 minutes as Speaker Om Birla kept silent over the issue.
When Chaterjee finished her statement, Birla requested other members to go to their seats.
The House, in between, reverberated with slogans like "West Bengal government hai, hai".
The para teachers, those who assist in teaching in schools and are not full-time teachers, in West Bengal are protesting against the West Bengal Education Department's policies of equal pay in comparison to permanent teachers in the state.
Thousands of para teachers from all corners of West Bengal have been protesting under the banner of Para Teachers' Aikya Mancha in front of Bikash Bhavan, Chatterjee's Salt Lake office demanding that the government introduce pay bands for their salaries, and promote them to the pay scale of assistant teachers.
Over 30 para-teachers are currently on the indefinite fast since November 16.
The issue raised by the teachers is that Rs 10,000 monthly salary of para teachers in primary schools and Rs 13,000 in Higher Secondary schools is meagre, considering the present market condition and in comparison with the salary in other professions.