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SAD asks Channi to explain why ‘Shagun’ not being released to 20,000 brides since last 7 months

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Chandigarh, October 27, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi to explain why ‘shagun’ was not being given to brides from the scheduled caste and weaker sections of society under the Ashirwad scheme since the last seven months and why his government was not implementing its promise to raise the benefit to Rs 51,000 per beneficiary.

In a statement here, SAD Spokesman Pawan Kumar Tinu said it was shocking that ‘shagun’ had not been given to more than 20,000 beneficiaries in the State. “It is even more shocking that chief minister Charanjit Singh Channis is oblivious to the situation and is not doing anything to ensure justice is done to poor families who are waiting for release of funds to them for months”.

Mr Tinu said while the government had failed to implement its promise to hike the benefit under the Ashirwad scheme from Rs 21,000 per beneficiary to Rs 51,000 since April 2017, it had tried to fool the people by announcing a hike under the scheme to Rs 51,000 from July this year. “Not a single beneficiary has received the hiked ‘shagun’ since July also”, the SAD leader said while demanding that all beneficiaries be given Rs 51,000 as promised. He said while there were around 3,200 beneficiaries who had not received the ‘shagun’ since the last seven months in Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur , more than 20,000 brides had been denied their dues under the scheme.

The SAD Spokesman also demanded the immediate arrest of former Social Welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Phagwara legislator Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal for embezzling money meant for scheduled caste students under the SC Scholarship scheme. He said it was condemnable that the government had initiated action against lowly officials in this case, when a departmental inquiry by an Additional chief secretary level officer had indicted Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and then department director B S Dhaliwal in the case.

Mr Tinu also demanded that money due to SC students under the SC scholarship scheme should be released to them immediately. He said as much as Rs 1800 crore was due to students who had not received any money during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years even as money was partially released on a pick and choose basis during 2020-21. He also asked the chief minister to tell why despite keeping a budget of Rs 2,400 crore for the scheme, money was not being released to SC students.

Asserting that the chief minister should not adopt an anti-SC stance, Mr Tinu said “it is a matter of record that Mr Channi never objected to the loot of the State exchequer by Sadhu Singh Dharamsot”. He said now also the chief minister was neither taking action against Dharamsot not ordering release of funds earmarked for SC students as well as brides from the SC, BC and weaker sections of society.

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