Contrary to an RTI reply, Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit on Thursday said there was no diversion of funds meant for Dalits to Commonwealth Games projects, an issue that has raised a storm in parliament.
“There is no question of diversion of funds,” Dikshit told reporters outside parliament. The Congress MP from East Delhi is the son of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
He, however, said that since there are only a few areas in the national capital that are dominated by Scheduled Castes (SCs), the funds have been amalgamated with other non-targeted development funds.
“The SC dominated areas are very few in Delhi, so the funds are clubbed depending on the need. It has been combined with the development funds. These funds are used for creating facilities like bus transport, foot over bridges and other infrastructure which is utilised by people from all sections of the society, including the SCs,” Dikshit said.
He added that this clubbing of funds had nothing to do with the Commonwealth Games.
According to information given in reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application, nearly Rs.744.35 crore from Delhi's special component plan (SCP), which is meant for improving the standard of living of the poor sections of society, was diverted to the Games projects.
The issue was raised by the opposition parties in both houses of parliament and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan assured the Rajya Sabha that he will come up with a reply after collecting information from the Delhi government.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) demanded the government to clear the air on the issue.
“The government should come clean on the issue. It is a matter of serious concern,” CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said.