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DYFI threatens hunger strike over vacancy issue complacency

DARJEELING : The CPM-affiliated Democratic Youth Federation of India threatened to start a hunger strike demanding the state government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to fill up vacant posts in various departments. Speaking to reporters in Darjeeling, DYFI district president Rajesh Kadaria said, “Hundreds of posts are lying vacant in several departments of the state government and the GTA. But nothing has been done to fill them up, leaving many youths of the hills unemployed.” He warned of calling a hunger strike if no concrete measures were taken to address the DYFI’s demand within a month. “We will sit on hunger strike outside Lalkothi, the GTA headquarters. We will wait for a month to see what the state government and the GTA do and plan our action accordingly,” said the DYFI leader. He also did not mince any words to denounce Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as not being sincere towards the people of the hills. “The chief minister says Darjeeling is her heart whenever she visits the hills. 

However, even after more than three years at the helm, she has failed to address the burning issue of recruiting candidates to vacant posts,” said Kadaria. According to him, more than 30,000 posts are up for grabs in various departments of the state government and the GTA. “I got the details from an RTI I had filed some time ago. Anyone can cross check my claim,” he said. At present, vacant posts in primary and higher secondary schools alone stand at 3,800, said Kadaria. Similarly, the health department has 1,800 vacant spots, land and land reform 439, panchayat 560, while BDO and SDO offices have 246 and 192, respectively. Further, the district magistrate office (groups C and D) has 124 unoccupied posts, the forest department 364 while the three municipalities in the hills have more than 600 vacancies. 

The information and cultural affairs department of the state government currently has 74 posts vacant, the food and supply department 271, while hospitals in the hills face a shortage of doctors of at least 200, said the DYFI leader. Kadaria also blamed the GTA for not taking proactive steps to address the issue. “The GTA is meant to address issues concerning the hills. But it has neither gone into action nor pressurise the state government into filling up the vacancies,” he said, adding the situation at present is the same as it was during the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council era. 


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