Two jobs and a mayor
Ignoring the Monthly Payment Order (MPO) Policy 2021, an acting principal of a government college, has been enjoying amenities of two jobs since he was elected mayor of Dinajpur's Birampur municipality in January this year.
The mayor, Md Akkas Ali, is a member of the board of advisors of Awami League's Dinajpur district unit.
According to the MPO Policy 2021, issued on March 28 this year, a teacher or an employee of an educational institution cannot hold a post in a second organisation.
Even though he had been serving as the acting principal of Hakimpur Government College in neighbouring Hakimpur upazila, Akkas mentioned nothing about it in the affidavit that he submitted to the Election Commission (EC) as part of his candidacy application for the Birampur mayoral election, held on January 16.
The affidavit, available on the EC website, has several contradictions.
Under the field (number 4) for describing "business or occupation", ownership of a filling station (petrol pump) in the upazila is mentioned. In the next table (number 5) for calculating sources of income, Tk 95 thousand and Tk 84 thousand are shown as income from "business" and "agriculture".
The field (number 5.5) for income from "professional services" (teaching, medical practice, law practice, consultancy, etc) is left blank with cross marks. But strikingly, Tk 3.62 lakh is put under the next field (number 5.6), for income from "employment".
On May 12, Hakimpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mohammad Nur-e-Alam in a letter to government officials concerned sought necessary guidelines in a situation under which Akkas Ali has been holding the job of an elected public representative and a teacher of a government college.
The letter was addressed to the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, chairman of Dinajpur Education Board, the Ministry of Education and the Deputy Commissioner of Dinajpur.
The UNO in the letter stated that Md Akkas Ali, while being the incumbent principal (acting) of Hakimpur Government College, has contested the Birampur mayoral election on January 16. After getting elected, Akkas took oath on February 8.
While serving as the mayor of Birampur town, he has been signing various official documents as a principal of the college as well, the UNO also mentioned.
Contacted, the Hakimpur UNO refused to make any further comment on the issue.
Speaking with The Daily Star over phone recently, Mayor Akkas said there is no bar in holding of posts in two different jobs.
Though Hakimpur Government College is a state-run institution, he has been a "private employee" there and the mayoral post at Birampur municipality is of voluntary nature, he claimed.
If an official directive is issued regarding his jobs, he would comply accordingly.
Salary statements for his college job were included as attachments with the affidavit submitted to the EC, he also claimed.