SAD holds protest rally over SC scholarship 'scam'

·2-min read

Phagwara, Nov 9 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday held a protest rally here over the alleged multi-crore post-matric SC scholarship scam.

Shortly after the rally, a group of SAD leaders, including Bikram Singh Majithia and Pawan Tinu, along with some party workers marched towards the nearby residence of Congress MLA Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal but were held on the way and detained briefly.

The rally was held to stage protest against Dhaliwal.

A heavy police posse had been deployed to prevent protesters from proceeding towards Dhaliwal's residence.

While addressing the rally, the Akali leaders accused Dhaliwal of being in “hand in glove” with Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the alleged misappropriation of Rs 64 crore from the post-matric scholarship fund for scheduled caste during his tenure as director of the Social Welfare Department.

Addressing the rally earlier, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also lashed out at his party's former long-time ally BJP for not doing anything regarding the post-matric scholarship scheme scam.

“Its ministers and MPs have failed to press for the promised probe into the bungling by Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and department's former director-cum-present Phagwara MLA Balwinder Singh,” said Badal.

Badal promised free education to all students from scheduled castes and backwards classes and the poor communities when his government comes to power.

After allegations of misappropriation of funds from the scholarship scheme corpus had surfaced, the chief minister had directed the chief secretary to conduct an enquiry.

The chief secretary's report, based on the findings of the three-member panel of IAS officers, led by Food Secretary KAP Sinha, however, had exonerated minister Dharamsot.

Badal also announced to set up a modern Ambedkar University in Doaba when his party forms government in the state.

Badal accused the BJP-led Centre of imposing economic blockade by not resuming goods trains in the state.

“It is behaving with farmers as if it was behaving with an enemy. It is shocking and strongly condemnable that ifs and buts are being raised in resuming the freight train service. In a democracy, a government moves forward and backwards for resolving peoples issues,” he said.

“I am surprised at the thinking of the BJP. Punjabis have made the largest sacrifices for the freedom of the country and gave food security to the nation. By blocking the state economically and putting conditions for resuming trains, the BJP was behaving as if it was attacking an enemy and not dealing with farmers. I flay this discriminatory approach,” he alleged.

He also demanded reopening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. PTI CORR CHS VSD RAX RAX