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CM Yogi wants change in guidelines to compensate kin of UP staff who died of Covid-19 during panchayat poll

While the government claimed that only three teachers died of Covid during poll duty, the Basic Education Teachers Association had claimed the actual figure of deaths to be more than 1600.

Under pressure from teachers and employees associations, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed the State Chief Secretary as well as Additional Chief Secretary (Panchayati Raj) to find ways to compensate the kin of those who lost their lives due to Covid-19 during the recent Panchayat poll. The directions were given during the review meeting chaired by Adityanath on Thursday with team-9 formed for Covid management and control.

Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal told indianexpress.com, “The Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary as well as Additional Chief Secretary (Panchayati Raj) to hold discussions with State Election Commission and find ways to compensate such teachers and employees, who lost their lives due to Covid.”

“While government is considerate towards the employees, they should remember that SEC guidelines were prepared before Covid-19 pandemic and it was felt there was a need for changes. The government officials and SEC officials would sit and find a way out soon,” Navneet added.

It may be recalled that teachers and employees associations had threatened to strike work alleging that government observation on poll duty deaths due to Covid was flawed. While the government claimed that only three teachers died of Covid during poll duty, teachers and employees associations said the election period covers the time between when individual leaves for electoral work, undergo training and goes home after the election duty.

The Basic Education Teachers Association had claimed the actual figure of deaths to be more than 1600.

Two days back, in Badaun, two girls protested outside the residence of the District Magistrate with the body of their father lying in an ambulance.

They claimed that their father died of Covid during poll duty. The school-going girls claimed that their father was the only earning member in the family and was serving as a head teacher at the local government primary school. “Our father did poll duty on April 19 and developed symptoms later by April end. Despite admitting him to different hospitals, he lost the battle to Covid on May 18. We wanted his death to be considered as one polling officer who died of Covid during panchayat election duty,” the girls said.

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