SAD holds protest over SC scholarship 'scam'

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Nabha, Nov 2 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led by its chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday staged a protest march over the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam.

Badal said when his party forms government in the state, it will order a probe into the alleged scholarship scam “engineered” by Cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and put him behind bars.

The SAD chief led a march to Dharamsot's residence here and staged a 'dharna' near it.

Addressing the gathering, he demanded that Dharamsot should be sacked and put behind bars for his alleged role in the scam.

The SAD president also asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to disclose why he was “shielding” the minister.

“Punjabis want to know why have you given a clean chit to a minister who has destroyed the future of lakhs of Dalit students,” he alleged in a statement here.

He said Punjab was going through its “worst time” ever under the leadership of Amarinder Singh.

“Congress legislators have been given a free hand to loot the state exchequer. Cong MLAs are running the liquor, sand and drug mafias even as the chief minister remains oblivious of the situation and cut off from the people,” he alleged.

Speaking on the occasion, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said instead of trying to “befool” Punjabis with new promises, the Congress government should tell why it kept budgetary provisions of Rs 2,440 crore for the SC scholarship scheme in the last three years but did not release even one paisa for the same.

Notably, after allegations of Rs 64 crore misappropriation from the scholarship fund for scheduled caste students had surfaced, the chief minister had directed the state chief secretary to conduct a thorough enquiry.

The chief secretary's report, based on the findings of a three-member panel of IAS officers, led by Food Secretary KAP Sinha, had exonerated Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX