The UP panchayat elections were conducted at a massive scale in four phases on April 15, 19, 26, and 29 in 75 districts. Around 1.3 million candidates were in the fray for around 800,000 posts, including 3,050 zila panchayat wards, over 75,000 kshetra panchayat wards and over 700,000 gram panchayat wards.
Around 1.5 million people cast their votes at 80,762 polling booths, where four polling officers and two security personnel or home guards were deployed each. Around 50% staff was to be kept in reserve. “Around 300,000 teachers were assigned to election duties in the state,” said Pawan Shankar Dixit, treasurer, Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh, Uttar Pradesh (RSMUP), an RSS affiliate.
“I wrote to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on March 27 requesting mandatory vaccination of all those teachers in the state who are meant to take up election duties. But the government turned a blind eye to the appeal,” said RSMUP chief Virendra Mishra while adding that no action was taken.
The polling officers that included teachers and shiksha mitras or para-teachers, were trained from April 9 to April 15.
Despite the best efforts of unions of state teachers, allegedly no effort was made by the state government to ensure Covid safety for teachers who were polling officers.
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