The National Scheduled Castes Alliance (NSCA) on Monday demanded Punjab Governor, Banwarilal Purohit, to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the decision made by the Punjab Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to refrain from the collection of the penalised amounts from the guilty colleges under the Post Matric Scholarship scam.
The NSCA alleged 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. Addressing a Press conference, NSCA president Paramjit Singh Kainth said a CBI inquiry should be launched in this scam of more than Rs 300 Crore.
He said the state 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 Crore. “After the Channi led Cabinet decision on 1 January, this amount was reduced to Rs 56.64 Crore without any explanation for it. The Punjab government also withdrew 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 said.
The NSCA chief said 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 five years. Some leaders’ talk of the 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,” he added.
Kainth said the scheduled caste (SC) community forms almost 33 percent 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,” he added.