Shillong, Dec 13: The Voice of the People Party (VPP) has said termed, the government notification barring employees including teachers, lecturers, professors for holding office of any political organization or local bodies, as ‘regressive’.
On Monday, the leaders of the VPP led by its president and former MLA, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit met Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma to express their shock, dismay and anguish for barring intellectuals of the State from participating in political organisations, local bodies and to be involved in political activities.
The VPP demanded the immediate withdrawal of the order which according to them is arbitrary and contrary to the provisions of the Indian Constitution and other legal provisions.
“The members of the teaching community have contributed immensely towards the overall development and welfare of the people in the country in general and Meghalaya in particular,” Basaiawmoit said.
In the letter to the Chief Minister, Basaiawmoit pointed out that in May 2019 the UGC made a decision that those teachers in Universities and Colleges who are elected as Members of Parliament or Members of State Legislature can continue their teaching duties while at the same time execute the functions as MPs and MLAs without the necessity of taking any kind of leave if they so desire.
The VPP also stated that it has been well established by the Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court in WA. No. 14 of 2001, dated 07-12-2005 that employees in government aided educational institutions are not government employees.
“The Government of Meghalaya has always taken the position before the court of law that employees in government aided institutions are not government employees and that they are the employees of private managements,” the VPP chief said.
“Since, employees of government aided educational institutions are not government employees, barring them from participating in election activities is a gross violation of their Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution,” he added.