Amidst increasing pressure being mounted by the Opposition on the Rajasthan government over the alleged question paper leak of the teachers’ entrance examination, unemployed youths in the state are now holding demonstrations against the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Jaipur.
Under the banner of the Rajasthan Berozgar Ekikrut Mahasangh (RBEM), among other things, the protesters are demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the recently-concluded Rajasthan Eligibility Examination for Teachers (REET) and have also threatened to campaign against Congress in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in case their demands are not met.
“We want a CBI inquiry into the question paper leak of this year’s REET and sub-inspector recruitment examinations. In the future, there should be a non-bailable law against those leaking question papers of competitive exams with a provision of 10 years of imprisonment,” said Upen Yadav, president of RBEM.
The Mahasangh, which describes itself as a platform to raise issues, including those influencing the unemployed youth, regularisation of contractual workers and appointments in pending recruitments of the state government, had fielded candidates in the two Assembly by-elections held in April this year to “spoil the fortune of the Congress”.
However, it later withdrew the nominations after meeting Gehlot and getting a positive assurance from him on their demands.
“I have started indefinite fasting since yesterday. If the government doesn’t fulfil our demands, we will open a front against the Congress and campaign against the party in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election,” said Yadav.
The other demands of the Mahasangh include immediate appointment of candidates qualified in various government recruitment examinations held in the previous years.
Ever since REET 2021 was held last month on September 26, it has been riddled with allegations of paper leak and irregularities.
While the Rajasthan government has suspended several government officials, including teachers and officers of the Rajasthan Police Service (RPS) and Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) officers, BJP has levelled allegations that Batti Lal Meena, a key accused in the case, is close to Education Minister and state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra.
Dotasra has denied the allegations and has instead said Meena had clicked photos with BJP leaders. The BJP has consistently been holding protests and demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged irregularities during REET.
Meena was recently taken in custody by Rajasthan Police from Kedarnath in Uttarakhand.
Earlier, Rajasthan Police had also recovered bluetooth devices hidden in slippers from some persons who were arrested. In many of the cities, such devices were sold at Rs 6-7 lakh to facilitate cheating, the state police had said.
The demands put forward by the Mahasangh include exposing those who have given “political patronage” to Meena and formulation of measures to prevent leaking of question papers in the future.