Claiming that there is diversion of funds allocated for the welfare of Dalits in Punjab too like in many other states, BJP's national president for Scheduled Castes (SC) Morcha Dushyant Kumar Gautam on Wednesday said the NDA government is soon developing a mechanism to stop such diversion of funds from the SC welfare schemes by the states.
"There are reports of diversion of funds from Punjab as well, but it's not state-specific. We have received reports on diversion of funds allocated for Dalit welfare from various states and will make all-out efforts to stop this," Gautam said, when asked about the problem of diversion of funds in Punjab at a press conference addressed by him over the national executive meeting of the SC cell in Jalandhar that would start in the city from Thursday.
He said that to check diversion practices by states, the NDA government is planning to rope in a model adopted by the Chhattisgarh government where a special institute, Ambedkar Vikas Nigam, was constituted and all funds related to welfare of Dalits are directly allocated to the Nigam to distribute it further.
He said such a formula would be adopted in the entire country so that not even a single penny allocated for the welfare of Dalits was diverted.
On a specific query on the steep hike in incidents of atrocities on Dalits in Punjab, Gautam avoided a direct reply saying, "Such complaints are coming from every state and it is unfortunate."
On speculations by the media that the national executive meeting of the BJP SC Morcha scheduled for Thursday aimed at strengthening its vote bank among Dalits in Punjab, Gautam said, "Every party wants to increase its base and the BJP also aims at spreading its wings in Punjab like in other parts of the country," adding that the BJP's alliance with the SAD in Punjab is strong.
Gautam, who was accompanied by union minister of state for social justice Vijay Sampla, said the NDA's achievements during the first year of the Modi rule and discussions on the Land Acquisition Bill would be on the agenda of the two-day meeting.
All SC ministers and MPs besides the office-bearers of the Morcha would participate in the meeting where policies for Dalits would be discussed in a threadbare manner.
The meeting of the national executive of the BJP SC Morcha will be inaugurated by union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of party general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal and general secretary Ram Madhav.