BHOPAL: Government teachers selected three years ago on Wednesday staged a protest outside the Bhopal office of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh demanding that they be given formal appointment letters.

Hundreds of teachers, including women carrying decorated ‘rakhi thalis’ (plates) in their hands, gathered outside the BJP’s main office in Bhopal and staged the protest.

According to the protesters, 22,000 teachers were selected in 2018, but they have not been yet issued appointment letters by the state government.

“We have been selected as teachers but waiting for appointment for the past three years. We all have passed the teacher’s eligibility test. We are running from pillar to post for appointment letters. The government has been carrying out verification of documents for the past one and a half years,” said a woman teacher at the protest site.

Another woman protester said the authorities have been giving assurances to resolve the issue, but nothing has happened so far.

“We observed a fast today. We want mama ji (as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is called) to come and give us appointment letters after we tie him rakhis (Raksha Bandhan festival falls on Aug 22),” she said.

Eyewitnesses said a couple of women fell unconscious during the protest.

On the other hand, an official of the School Education Department said the matter is sub-judice.

“A case related to reservation (in recruitment) is pending in the High Court. The School Education Department is also a party in this case. We are waiting for the court’s directives. The department will start the process of appointment as soon it gets the court’s directives,” he said.

Meanwhile, state BJP secretary Rajneesh Agrawal told PTI that the process of appointment of teachers has been delayed due to legal problems, and blamed the previous Congress government for the impasse.

“The process has been delayed as the previous Congress regime did not move forward on this issue. The BJP government took charge during the coronavirus pandemic (in March 2020) and a legal complication also came in the way of appointments,” he stated.

Agrawal said the minister concerned has assured to start the process of appointments soon.

On the other hand, state Congress president Kamal Nath sought justice for the protesting teachers.

“Shivraj ji (the CM), thousands of selected teacher sisters wanted to tie rakhi to you and are asking for their appointment letter as a gift. They are sitting on streets in front of the BJP office with tears flowing from their eyes. Do justice to these sisters,” Nath said in a tweet.