Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday accused the Centre of not releasing the funds for scholarships to students who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
“We have released our share of funds. But the Centre has not issued grants from the past two years due to which the students are suffering,” said Badal, who was here for a sangat darshan.
When asked was the Centre discriminating against Punjab, he said: “You can’t call it a discrimination. I have taken up the issue with the Centre and I hope it will release funds soon.”
According to allegations of Congress leader Sunil Jakhar, the Centre has withheld the money for scholarship schemes as the state government has failed to submit the utilisation certificates for the same. “The government has used the scholarship grant for some other work,” Jakhar had alleged in a press conference in Jalandhar on May 9 while showing the letters to the state in this regard by Union social justice and empowerment ministry officials.
Ducks queries on Dhumma
The chief minister ducked all queries on the alleged involvement of Damdami Takshal head Harnam Singh Dhumma in murderous attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadarianwale.
Water war: CM says be ready for struggle
On the SYL Canal issue, Badal reiterated his party would never ever allow water to flow through it (the SYL canal) as “we don’t have a single drop of spare water to share with anyone”. He said he is ready to sacrifice even his government ten times in defence of the “state’s legitimate rights over its share of river waters”. He also asked the people to be ready for struggle to safeguard “our river waters”.
Sampla defends his ministry
State BJP chief Vijay Sampla, who is a minister of state in the Union social justice and empowerment ministry said his department has released `106 crore for scholarships to students. “There were some issues related to the submission of utilisation certificates by the Punjab government. Dues of many other states are also pending for the same reason. We are releasing the money as we are getting the certificates,” Sampla told HT.