Updated: June 15, 2021 7:30:15 pm
The SC wing of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) on Tuesday held a hunger strike and staged demonstrations across the state against the alleged ‘scam’ in the post-matric scholarship scheme for Dalit students.
In a statement issued from the AAP headquarters here on Tuesday, senior party leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, said that hunger strikes and demonstrations — led by district-incharges of the party’s SC wing — were held in front of the offices of the deputy commissioners across Punjab. A large number of district leaders and party volunteers participated in the protests and raised slogans against the ruling Congress government and demanded that cases be registered against finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and social welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot under the SC/ST Act.
ਗ਼ਰੀਬ-ਦਲਿਤ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਪੋਸਟ ਮੈਟ੍ਰਿਕ ਸਕਾਲਰਸ਼ਿਪ ਜਾਰੀ ਕਰਾਉਣ ਅਤੇ ਵਜ਼ੀਫ਼ਾ ਘੁਟਾਲੇਬਾਜ਼ ਸਾਧੂ ਸਿੰਘ ਧਰਮਸੋਤ ਦੇ ਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ ‘ਆਪ’ ਦੇ SC ਵਿੰਗ ਨੇ ਸੂਬੇ ਭਰ ਦੇ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਹੈੱਡ ਕੁਆਟਰਾਂ ‘ਤੇ ਅਣਮਿੱਥੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਲਈ ਭੁੱਖ ਹੜ੍ਹਤਾਲ ਦੀ ਕੀਤੀ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ।
— AAP Punjab (@AAPPunjab) June 15, 2021
Cheema said that the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government had squandered crores of rupees on the scholarships of two lakh Dalit students and jeopardised their futures. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party’s struggle will continue till a case was registered against ministers Manpreet Singh Badal and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. Cheema added that an investigation report submitted by a senior IAS officer — Kirpa Shankar Saroj — on the post-matric scholarship scam has revealed that the grants were given by the social welfare minister to his crony managers of fake colleges. “As a result, private colleges have not received funds and lakhs of Dalit students have been deprived of their right to education,” he added.
He said that earlier the Akali Dal Badal, led by Parkash Singh Badal, and the BJP government, had robbed the rights of the Dalits. Now the Congress government was doing the same.
The LoP said that the Aam Aadmi Party had raised its voice against the scholarship scam as even though the state government has released some amount to private colleges, Dalit students will not be able to sit for their exams till the government releases the balance amount of Rs 1,539 crore.
“While the government has embezzled the scholarship money of Dalit students, it has also discriminated in giving jobs to Dalit youths and promoting employees,” he said. Cheema said that with the Punjab Assembly elections due in a few months, the Congress government was doing a drama by releasing some amount of post-matric scholarship amount.
“The people of Punjab would take into account the injustice done by the government and would give a befitting reply to Captain Amarinder Singh,” he said.
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