With the Opposition attacking the state government in the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today did not find any merit in the protest over lowering of scholarship for SC/ST students. He alleged an “out of work” BJP and other opposition parties were “instigating” youths for political gains. “The protest over lowering of scholarship for SC and ST students has no merit as there is no logic in benefiting many dubious private professional colleges, which earn a fat sum of money out of this scholarship fund from state government,” Kumar told reporters.
“While the meritorious students will pay in full for their study in such institutions, what is the logic of paying Rs 5-10 lakh as scholarship for students hailing from SC/ST students studying in many of such private colleges whose credentials are doubtful?” the CM asked, terming the argument as “bakwaas” (baseless talk). Moreover, the scholarship amount has been lowered due to shrinking of central funds on this count and the state was paying scholarship at par with what was paid by other states, he said.
A vigilance probe has established that scholarship money paid to many of such educational institutions have “dubious” credentials, Kumar said. He came down heavily on BJP for promoting the agitation launched by SC/ST students over the police lathicharge during a protest march yesterday after they resorted to pelting of bricks on the security forces.
“The BJP is shedding crocodiles tears for dalits to gain their votes…the party under whose rule dalits are beaten up mercilessly in Gujarat and which is blamed for the suicide of dalit student Rohith Vemula in Andhra Pradesh are trying to become champions of dalits,” he said. “If BJP is so pained at lowering of post matriculation scholarship amount for SC/ST students, they should impress their government at the Centre to enhance allocation of money,” he said. “The Bihar government has already announced to launch student credit-card scheme for higher studies from October 2 under which they will get Rs 4 lakh interest-free loan,” Kumar said.