New Delhi: The right-wing teachers’ group, National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF), won the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) elections after a gap of 24 years, with its candidate AK Bhagi defeating the Left-aligned Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) candidate, Abha Dev Habib, by over 1,000 votes for the president’s post on Saturday. Bhagi, who is also the NDTF president, received 3,584 votes while Habib trailed behind with 2,202 votes.
DUTA elections were held on Friday and the results were declared on Saturday. Five NDTF candidates have been also elected to the 15-member DUTA Executive.
Bhagi said that NDTF had achieved a decisive victory which reflected the faith that teachers had reposed in NDTF’s approach. “This victory is important because our voice and concerns will be heard across the country. One can also take corrective measures which can lead to betterment of education and service conditions of teachers,” said Bhagi (58), a professor at Dyal Singh College.
Outlining some of the key areas that DUTA will focus on, Bhagi said he will fight for all section of teachers irrespective of their political persuasions or ideologies. He said that DUTA’s immediate emphasis will be on regularisation/absorption of existing ad hoc teachers through legally tenable processes. Further, the teachers’ body will also focus on payment of regular salaries, pension, allowances and arrears to the teachers and employees of 12 fully-funded Delhi government colleges that are part of DU.
EC member VS Negi, who is also a member of the NDTF, said that the group last won the presidential post in 1997. Negi said that the body had started making gains again from 2014-15.
In the 2019 elections, Bhagi, who then too was contesting for the post of president, had lost to Rajib Ray of the DTF by a slim margin.
He said that the previous leadership of DUTA had created a negative environment by sidelining the issues of teachers and focusing on issues national politics. “In the last election, all opposition players had united together against our candidate. The unity and vote bank of the opposition is eroded now. Now, with our victory, there is a change towards positivity. Previously, DUTA had started raising controversial issues of national politics. Now, teachers believe that their issues will be resolved ,” said Negi.
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