Coalition divided over bill seeking teachers' transfers

Coalition divided over bill seeking teachers' transfers

The unity among the ruling coalition - JDS and Congress legislators was put to test with the state government tabling the Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Amendment Bill in the Legislative Council on Thursday.

Proposing to transfer teachers who had served for three years, the bill left the MLCs divided.

Opposing the bill, JD(S) MLC Puttanna pointed out that if the bill was approved it would open the floodgates of transfers and leads to the birth of multiple transfer agents who would open their shops in and around Vidhana Soudha. “Countering the corrupt practice, the present system of counselling was brought in. But this bill will wipe out that. It should not be approved,” he argued.

Joining him in the debate, Congress MLC Sharanappa Mattur said, “The bill only says PU colleges but the government shall include the high school teachers. Further, they must drop the provision - compulsory transfer of teachers who have served for more than three or five years.”

Senior Congress leader S R Patil said that the bill would indeed benefit transfer racket and the government should take it back or refer to the select committee of the House for further introspection. Veteran Congman K C Kondaiah also toed the same line.

As the House was divided over the bill, Leader of the House and Minister Jayamala said that the government was committed to including all those suggestions at the time of forming rules under the act, and requested to pass the bill. Amidst pandemonium, the chairman adjourned the House.

On resuming, minister Jayamala told the Council that government will drop the clause providing for compulsory transfer at the time of forming rules and the bill was cleared by the House. While it was later supported by both JD(S) and Congress MLCs, the BJP leaders who were protesting since morning against the attack on their MLA from Hassan opposed passing of the bill.