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    Get votes for CPM: Buddha asks school teachers

    Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has courted controversy after asking primary school teachers in the state to teach the benefits of voting for the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist to the parents.

    After 33 years in office, the Left Front is confronting a rapidly shrinking votebank and is desperate to hold on to power.

    Buddhadeb's appeal to the teachers has handed a big issue to the Opposition on a platter.

    Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee also knows that the left Front government's policy of denying English education to young Bengalis over several years is an issue worth raking up.

    "How can he ask teachers to do propaganda for the party," she asked.

    After the loss in Lok Sabha and municipal elections, the Left Front's victory in the primary teachers' union elections has boosted its morale and shown the way to getting votes.

    "I think it has been introduced with the sole purpose of legitimising the employment of around 55,000 teachers," said Abhirup Sarkar, a professor at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

    With few months to go before the elections it is no surprise that politics is taking over policies yet again. But falling victim is a generation of young minds whose future is at stake now.