Bajwa joins stir by Dalits in Balad Kalan village
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday joined the protest organised by Dalits in Balad Kalan village of Sangrur district. The Dalits have been fighting for their rights over panchayat land.punjab Updated: Jul 02, 2014 21:45 IST
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday joined the protest organised by Dalits in Balad Kalan village of Sangrur district. The Dalits have been fighting for their rights over panchayat land.
Accompanied by Dalit leader Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Jalandhar MP and Sangrur leaders, including former MP Vijay Inder Singla, Bajwa joined the protest and heavily lashed out at the ruling SAD-BJP government. He also visited Sangrur jail to meet agitating 41 Dalits, who had been detained by the police.
Bajwa said the Dalits had been agitating for the past several days over the fraudulent auction of panchayat land reserved for them. They had been demanding that the auction should be organised by lowering the reserve price and arguing that the one fixed by the panchayat was too high.
He said in the process, three Dalit members of panchayat had resigned. He strongly condemned the police lathicharge on the agitating Dalits.
Demanding immediate withdrawal of cases against Dalits and acceptance of their demand for lowering the reserve price for the auction of 478 bighas of land reserved for them in the village, Bajwa termed the lathicharge as unprovoked.
He said the Congress had always articulated the concerns of the Dalits historically and the party in Punjab would continue to plead their cause at every level. He said the Akali Dal had always betrayed the weaker sections and had only been concerned with getting their votes. He asserted it was the Congress which was fully committed to their uplift.
He said the Dalits had been agitating at several places against the policies of the ruling government and the Congress would take up their issues at state level. He said the SAD-BJP government had been ignoring Dalits as evident from the lackadaisical implementation of the schemes meant for their welfare, which also included scholarships for the Dalit students. He said grants under the Shagun Scheme for Dalit girls had not been paid for months.