The Haryana government has scrapped the State Commission for Scheduled Castes, which was constituted by former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda days before the model code of conduct came into force ahead of the Assembly polls in 2014. The panel was headed by Phool Chand Mullana, a Hooda loyalist and former state Congress chief.
It stoked quite a controversy when Hooda made a series of appointments, including those of chairman of the SC Commission, chairmen of Right to Service and Food Commission and a number of information commissioners, rewarding his loyalists and their kin. The fate of the other two commissions is also under review.
Prior to his appointment as chairman of the commission, Mullana was deputy chairman of a high-powered committee for the implementation of a 20-point programme. He was given cabinet rank and provided a bungalow and a vehicle. Ironically, the then state cabinet headed by Hooda had approved constitution of this commission in 2012 but it remained on paper. While Hooda later announced its chairman and three other members, he did not fix the terms of reference of the commission.
The constitution of the commission under the chairmanship of one of his loyalists at a time when power was slipping from Hooda’s hands was seen more as an attempt to ensure privileges for the leader rather than an effort to ensure welfare of the Scheduled Castes.
Disbanding of the commission would mean automatic sacking of all its members too.