Voice of the People Party (VPP) legislator from Mawlai, Brightstarwell Marbaniang has said that the teachers are fighting the order of the Meghalaya government barring those teaching in government-aided colleges from contesting elections and holding posts in political parties, so that others in the future who want to join politics can do so.
“We are fighting the government order now because in the future if our children who become teachers want to enter politics and they won’t be allowed we would be blamed,” Marbaniang said.
It may be mentioned that the Meghalaya High Court in December 2022, quashed a 2018 state government policy barring teachers of government-aided colleges from contesting elections and holding posts in political parties.
The state government has appealed to the Supreme Court against the verdict.
He also said that the Service Rule of the state government as adopted from Assam Act is very clear that the teachers are not bared from taking part in politics.
“But only in recent years the Meghalaya government has brought a notification which disallowed teachers from taking part in politics. Therefore it is our responsibility to contest this order,” Marbaniang said.
He informed that after the government’s order, the teachers met Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma but he outrightly said that he does not want to overturn the notification.
According to Marbaniang, Sangma also told the delegation that they can go to the court if they are feeling aggrieved.
Meanwhile, VPP spokesperson, Batskhem Myrboh said that in Central Universities, even though teachers are paid by the central government, they are allowed to take part in politics since they are not government employees.