The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday condemned the Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh for sprinkling salt on the wounds of Dalit students by announcing a budgetary provision of Rs 600 crore for the SC scholarship scheme for the year 2021-22 after not releasing a budgeted amount of Rs 2,440 crore for the last three years for the same scheme.
Former chief parliamentary secretary Pawan Kumar Tinu termed the cabinet’s decision to keep a budgetary provision of Rs 600 crore for the SC scholarship scheme for 2021-22 as a slap on the face of the scheduled caste community which comprised 34 per cent of the population of the State.
He challenged the chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to tell if his government had released a single rupee from the Rs 2,440 crore budgeted for the SC scholarship scheme in the last three years.
“The Congress government kept a budget provision of Rs 620 crore for the SC scholarship scheme in 2018-19, Rs 860 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 960 crore in 2020-21,” he said.
“However not a single rupee was released to SC students which destroyed the future of four lakh students,” he added.
“Now the government is trying to befool the SC community by announcing it will release Rs 600 crore to SC students in the election year. This is akin to a sin against the poor and the oppressed. The Dalits of Punjab will never forgive the Congress and chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for inflicting this cruel joke on them,” Tinu averred.
The Dalit leader the Shiromani Akali Dal would take the chief minister to task soon by launching a ‘morcha’ to demand justice for the scheduled caste community.
“The Congress government is guilty of not only releasing Rs 2,440 crore to Dalit students but also for stopping award of degrees to them by not paying their SC scholarship amount to educational institutions,” he added.