Party won’t allow injustice against Dalit students and will launch movement to ensure sack and jail term for minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot
Bhundur and Chandumajra say silence of Cong HC indicated it was hand in glove with State govt in looting central funds sent for Dalits. Say this is why CM was afraid of a CBI inquiry into the scam
Says widespread irregularities in disbursement of Rs 811 crore under SC scholarship scheme
Chandigarh, August 31, 2020: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said it was shocking that chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had termed the demand for a CBI inquiry into the SC scholarship scam as “frivolous” and said this was in itself a reflection on the utterly insensitive attitude of the Congress government towards the scheduled caste and weaker sections.
The party stated unequivocally that it would not allow any injustice against Dalit students and would launch a movement to force the government to sack and jail SC Welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot besides recovering and releasing all money due to SC students as scholarship fee in higher learning institutions in the State.
Senior party leaders Balwinder Singh Bhundur and Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said the SAD had demanded a CBI inquiry into the Rs 63 crore SC Scholarship scam only after the Congress government refused to act on the probe submitted by the Principal Secretary of the Welfare department who was an officer in the rank of Additional chief secretary. “The head of the department has indicted his minister – Sadhu Singh Dharamsot unequivocally. The senior IAS officer has submitted a detailed inquiry stating Rs 39 crore was misappropriated as there was no official record of the same while Rs 24 crore was distributed to private educational institutions, against which the government had ordered recoveries, at the instance of the minister. Instead of acting on the inquiry report and sacking Dharamsot, arresting him and subjecting him to custodial interrogation, the chief minister has thrown a life line to the minister by asking the chief secretary to look into the matter”.
Stating that both acts – terming the demand for a free and fair inquiry as “frivolous” and deliberately ignoring an inquiry report by an administrative head of a department – amounted to shielding the guilty, the senior leaders said the “silence” of the Congress high command on the issue indicated that it was hand in glove in looting central funds sent to the State for the education of Dalit children. “This is why the chief minister is afraid of a CBI inquiry into the matter because he knows a free and fair investigation will not only indict his government but also the party high command”.
Stating that the Congress government was not acting on the report of its own officer who had blown the lid off the scam, Mr Bhundur and Mr Chandumajra said the role of the chief minister has also become suspect. “Capt Amarinder Singh should have taken action against the tainted minister immediately instead of going overboard to defend him. This has sent a very wrong signal. It seems the Congress government wants the bureaucracy to allow ministers to indulge in corruption at will”.
Mr Bhundur and Prof Chandumajra said the manner in which the chief minister has reacted to a demand for an independent inquiry into the entire case by the CBI indicated that the ground was being cleared to issue a clean chit to Dharamsot in the same manner in which clean chits were issued in the Dussehra train tragedy and the Batala bomb blast cases.
The senior leaders also reminded the chief minister that the actions of his blue eyed minister Dharamsot besides constituting a criminal offence also amounted to committing an atrocity against the scheduled caste community of Punjab. They said what had been revealed right now by the Principal Secretary was just the tip of the iceberg. “It seems there are widespread irregularities in the disbursement of Rs 811 crore received by the State from the centre on account of SC scholarship. A CBI inquiry is needed to unravel the entire scam and ensure punishment to the guilty”, Mr Bhundur and Prof Chandumajra added.