Chandigarh, 24th January – The National Scheduled Castes Alliance today met with the Hon’ble Governor of Punjab, Shri. Banwarilal Purohit with a Memorandum of Demand for a CBI inquiry into the decision made by the Punjab Cabinet headed by Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi on 1st January in their last meeting to refrain from collection of the penalized amounts from the guilty colleges under the Post Matric Scholarship scam after a delegation of the colleges and universities met him. The NSCA alleged that the lives of more than 3.21 Lakh Students have been disrupted more by the Post Matric Scholarship scam of this Government than the Covid-19 induced disturbance. The Hon’ble Governor shared his sympathy for the suffering students and has assured that this issue will be brought against the new State government which will form after 10th March and also suggested to the NSCA that this matter be also brought to the notice of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and its Chairman, Mr. Vijay Sampla.
Paramjit Singh Kainth, President of the Alliance also held a Press Conference in Chandigarh after the meeting and voiced his criticism of the State government. Kainth said, “The NSCA demands in this case that a CBI inquiry be launched in this regard and it is our thinking that this decision was in lieu of election fund from these educational institutions by the current State Government under the Congress party leadership. It is highly unlikely that the upcoming elections had no relation with this decision and this scam of more than Rs. 300 crores was out rightly sidelined. The only collection done was the 9% penal interest as against the total amount which was to be recovered originally. The Government had earlier identified 70 educational institutions that had more than Rs. 50 Lakh each, to be recovered as penalties under the scam, totaling Rs. 101.51 crores. After the Channi led Cabinet decided on this decision on 1st January, this amount was reduced to Rs. 56.64 crores and without any explanation/notification for it. The Punjab government also rescinded the FIR’s registered against Private colleges after the delegation met with the Chief Minister. This is a very big scam over an already highly controversial scam. “
Kainth further added, “The Political parties in Punjab have completely sidelined the issue during these election campaigns. None of the CM candidates that have been announced or even the Parties themselves have spoken on the issue of the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and what plans they have for the community in the next 5 years. Some leaders’ talk of Punjab Model others bring out Agenda papers but no one has clearly stated out what their intended policies are for the SC community. This happens every year and the community after elections again suffers the same problems of social boycott, discrimination and violence.”
Also pointing out a vital point during the Press Conference, Kainth said, “It is the duty of each and every candidate contesting in 117 Vidhan Elections to voice out their programmes and policies for the SC population of their constituency. The community forms almost 33% of the State’s population and it is unfortunate that whenever something has to be said regarding the SCs, it is always the SC leaders in these parties who come forth. To create a better Punjab, even the leaders from the General community should voice their opinions and policies especially for the SC constituents in their area.”