Last Friday, Samajwadi Party leader Surbhi Shukla was appointed chairperson of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), with the status of minister of state, by the Akhilesh Yadav government. The very next day, she was unceremoniously removed for reasons which no one seems to know in the ruling party or the goverment.
On Monday, Shukla met party president Mulayam Singh Yadav at the party office and broke down. “Netaji, why did this happen? You appointed me and now I have been removed. No one is giving any reason, they say that it has been done for a technical reason,” she said, as the assembled party workers watched.
Yadav consoled her saying: “I will look into the matter, don’t worry.”
SCERT designs training modules, imparts training and organises refresher courses for primary teachers, undertakes textbook development, revision of curriculum, and also gives no-objection certificates to institutions for running basic training certificate course for teachers.
Shukla is an assistant professor in the Hindi department of Vidyant PG College in Lucknow.
“I presented my case before Netaji with utmost regard. I am hopeful that a fresh order of my appointment will be issued soon. I have all faith in his leadership,” she said, adding: “I am in the party since 1994.”
She had also met Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. “He told me that things were clear at his end and he had appointed me. There must be some technical reason for withdrawing the order.”
On Friday, after getting her appointment letter, Shukla had visited the SP office and thanked everyone. She had met the party’s state secretary S R S Yadav and requested him to issue a press note about her appointment, but this was not done.
This is not the first time such a thing has happened with Shukla. During the Assembly elections last year, the SP had given her the ticket for Lambhua in Sultanpur district, only to change it; then named her again, and again dropped her. In fact, the candidate for Lambhua was changed nine times before Santosh Pandey was finally selected.
At present, Shukla is national secretary of the Samajwadi Mahila Sabha, the women’s wing of the party. During the previous SP regime, she was member of the Social Welfare Board.
Asked about the episode, the party’s state spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said Shukla’s order had been withdrawn “for correction, a new order will be issued in 2-3 days”, adding, “It is not certain that Shukla will be reappointed on the same post. There may be some change.”