“Bad Omen” Question In Haryana Staff Selection Commission Exam Sparks Row

Chandigarh:  A row has erupted over a question on bad omens asked in the written examination for would be junior engineers conducted by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission, with the opposition Congress saying that it would lodge a police complaint.

In the examination held on April 10, one of the questions asked was ‘Which one among the following is not a bad omen in Haryana’. The options for the answer were: seeing an empty pot, a casket, a black Brahmin, a Brahmin girl.

Members of the Brahmin community have held protests in several parts of the state over the issue and also burnt an effigy of HSCC chairman Bharat Bhushan Bharti. Later, the HSSC expressed regret and withdrew the question.

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has said a probe would conducted into who set the question paper and how the particular question was cleared. BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP D P Vats has said exemplary punishment would be given to those responsible for it.

Today, former chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “We are going to lodge a police complaint shortly. This is not an ordinary mistake, this is something unpardonable. The have not only insulted the Brahmin community, but they are also promoting superstition.”

Congress leader Kuldeep Sharma said, “It is shocking that engineers are chosen on the basis of their level of superstition rather than skill.”

Referring to the alleged cash-for-jobs scam in Haryana, Mr Hooda hit out at the BJP government in the state saying, “Their claims of transparency and merit in recruitment are hollow. If the Congress comes to power in the state after the Assembly polls, we will get an inquiry done by a sitting High Court judge into the way this government conducted various written exams and given jobs.”

Last month, the flying squad of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar unearthed an alleged cash-for-job racket involving employees of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) and other departments, and “brokers” who would take money from aspirants for selection in government jobs.

Mr Hooda also demanded that written examinations for various recruitment should be conducted by an independent agency as “people have lost faith in the HSSC”.

He also took a dig at the 10-day tour of Mr Khattar to Israel and the UK, saying, “When the chief minister left for Israel (on Sunday), his government issued an advisory sounding high alert in view of the possibility of thunder storms and squalls. The Haryana government also shut down schools for two days.”

“At this moment, the chief minister should have been with people of Haryana,” Mr Hooda said.

He also alleged that the Khattar government had made tall claims on bringing in investments, whereas the reality is opposite to what they say.

“This government has failed on all fronts. They have pushed the state into a kind of crisis. Power crisis is also staring at the state as coal supplies are running low, but they are not bothered. Illegal mining is rampant in various parts of the state including Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, but they are silent. Law and order situation has broken down and people are feeling insecure, but no steps are being taken to tackle the growing crime graph,” Mr Hooda claimed.


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