Mysuru: The Legislative Council Elections from South Teachers’ Constituency on June 8 will see three-time MLC Marithibbe Gowda from the JD(S), M. Lakshmana from the Congress and Niranjana Murthy from the BJP fighting against each other. While Gowda is fighting for his fourth straight win, Lakshmana is fighting to win his ‘last election’ after losing the Chamaraja Assembly elections in 2008, South Graduates’ constituency in 2010 and South Teachers’ constituency in 2012. Murthy, on the other hand, is making his electoral debut.
On Monday, all the three candidates spoke to presspersons about their respective agendas. Gowda expressed his opinion against non-teaching work for teachers like hot meals scheme, election-related work, survey and data collection, etc. He claimed that it hindered their expertise as teachers. He also criticised the New Pension Scheme, contract employment of teachers and lack of service and salary security to teachers in unaided institutions. He promised that he would address all these issues after his re-election.
Gowda also reminded people about the contribution made by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to the field of education, during his 20-month regime in 2008. Around 50,000 teachers were appointed to schools and colleges, and several engineering and medical colleges were established in various districts then.
Lakshmana said that he had visited more than 2000 educational institutions in the constituency and had met 19,000 voters personally to discuss their problems. He claimed to have addressed the issue of wage disparity among teachers by recommending to the government to release an additional increment to the teachers of high schools and pre-university. He appealed to the voters by saying that it was his last election. He also declared that he will resign as MLC if the people are not satisfied with his performance in the first six months.
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Murthy spoke on behalf of the guest faculty in various educational institutions and promised that he would address their problems. The South Teachers’ constituency consists of 26 taluks of four districts of Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Hassan. It contains an estimated 21,000 voters with teachers from high schools till the PG level.