Professor UR Rao once quipped : “When you go to teach a class, take care of the students in the front bench. Some of them will be your colleagues tomorrow. Beware of those in the back-benches. They will become politicians, your future bosses. The rest do not matter.” But, those who occupied the front desks in classrooms of Karnataka can rub shoulders with have-been back-benchers.
Karnataka is one of the six Indian states with a Legislative Council. MLCs have almost equal authorities, opportunities and responsibilities as MLAs. There have been several prominent ministers from the Council. Seven of the 75 MLCs in Karnataka are from teachers’ constituencies and seven from graduate constituencies. This gives a unique opportunity to the front benchers to occupy 19% of the seats in the Council.
Beyond being enumerators and booth officials, teachers in recognised high schools and colleges have a unique privilege to represent their professional community, not given to any other profession. Unfortunately, not many teachers are aware of this provision. Those who have been teachers for 3 years during the last 6 years qualify to enrol as voters. Thus, even those who retired during the last 3 years qualify. Council elections are held once in six years and the next one for Bangalore Teachers Constituency is due in June 2014.
Electoral rolls of Teachers Constituency for Bangalore Urban and Rural schools have 25 parts. Unlike electoral rolls of assembly constituencies the rolls for legislative council are prepared ab-initio for every election. CEO-KA invited registration by teachers in October and November 2013. The voter lists prepared based on the registrations are published on 10 Jan and uploaded at http://ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in/FinalRoll_New_2014.aspx on 25 Jan.
Total 33,415 teachers have registered from the whole of Bangalore Urban and Rural constituencies. This seems to be a low count. Total voters in Chikpet are 68, Gandhinagar 89, and in Shivajinagar 118. Whereas we know that majority of teachers are females, in 9 out of 25 parts, male voters outnumber female voters.
This is a call to all the teachers in Bangalore Rural and Urban schools and colleges to check at http://ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in/FinalRoll_New_2014.aspx if your names are in the electoral rolls. If not, register as voters. ERO office is waiting for instructions from CEO-KA about the next period for new registrations. To register, when the process starts, see details at http://ceokarnataka.kar.nic.in/PDFS/Teachers%20and%20Graduates/Teachers_Eng_Pages_1_4.pdf