The Punjab unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday staged a protest in front of the official residence of Punjab CM Amarinder Singh against the alleged scam in the post-matric scholarship scheme for Dalit students.
Led by Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, a large number of party leaders and workers marched towards the Chief Minister’s residence, including Deputy Leader of Opposition, Saravjit Kaur Manuke, and MLAs Baldev Singh, Budhram, Jagtar Singh Jagga Hissowal, Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Kulwant Singh Pandori and incharge Payal Assembly constituency Manwinder Singh Giaspura.
During the protest, Chandigarh Police detained AAP MLAs and leaders and sent them to Sector 17 police station.
Harpal Singh Cheema said that the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government had squandered crores of rupees in the scholarships of two lakh Dalit students and jeopardized the future of the students. “At the behest of the government, the police administration has violated our constitutional right to protest, but the Aam Aadmi Party would continue its struggle and the AAP workers would go on hunger strike on June 15 in front of the offices of Deputy Commissioners in all the districts across the state,” said Cheema.
He said that the AAP’s struggle would continue till a case was registered against Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot under SC/ST Act. Manwinder Singh Giaspura said that the investigation report submitted by senior IAS officer Kirpa Shankar Saroj on the post-matric scholarship scam revealed that the scholarships were allegedly given by the Social Welfare Minister to 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.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Saravjit Kaur Manuke, Principal Budhram and Master Baldev Singh said that the Aam Aadmi Party had raised its voice against the Dalit students’ scholarship scam and even though the Captain government had released some amount to private colleges; but Dalit students will not be able to sit for their exams till the government releases the balance amount of Rs 1,539 crore.