Chandigarh, January 22, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Taking up the matter pertaining to release of the scholarship money to the Dalit students by the Captain government; the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs on Friday met Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and demanded immediate action.
When Deputy Leader of Opposition in Punjab Legislative Assembly, Sarabjit Kaur Manuke reached the residence of Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal; the police personnel did not allow her to enter.
On the occasion, MLA Master Baldev Singh Jaito, AAP leader Justice Jora Singh (retd), SC Wing vice-president Jeevan Singh Sanghowal were also present. The AAP leaders were stopped outside for a long time and were later called by Manpreet Badal at his office.
The AAP MLAs said that Punjab Cabinet Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had embezzled Rs 64 crore in scholarships for Dalit students and today, millions of Dalit students in Punjab were being affected. “As a result of non-release of SC scholarship money to private colleges by the government, the colleges have refused to award degrees to around 2.5 lakh Dalit students across the state,” they said.
The leaders said that the Aam Aadmi Party had many times brought to the notice of the state government about the sword hanging over the future of the students but the government had not taken any action till date.
The AAP leaders said that on January 14, a committee of four cabinet ministers comprising Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot had directed the private colleges to release the degrees of Dalit students within three days or be ready to face the music.
However, despite the passage of more than a week, the students had not yet received their degrees and no action was taken against the colleges that withheld their degrees. “The government’s manipulation with the future of Dalit students has now been exposed.
Proof of this is that yesterday, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal himself admitted that he had not yet released Rs 309 crore for the post-matric scholarship scheme of private colleges for the year 2015-16,” said the leaders.
They said that the Finance Minister also acknowledged that 40 per cent of the scholarships for the years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 was also not released. Taking a dig at Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh-led state government, the AAP leaders said, “Today we have come to ask the Finance Minister as to why he is misleading the people by making false statements.”
They also warned the Captain government that if it did not immediately release the scholarship money, the Aam Aadmi Party would launch a fierce agitation against the government.
The AAP leaders also demanded that a helpline number be issued for the students so that any student across the state could express their grievances. Manpreet Singh Badal assured that the scholarship money of the SC students would be released within three days. At the request of the Aam Aadmi Party, he also assured that a helpline number would be issued soon on which students could express their grievances.