Leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly Sunil Kumar Jakhar said here on Friday that he has called a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) to specifically discuss the issues related to the Dalits on November 25 in Chandigarh, which the party would raise in the upcoming assembly session.
"This government has suddenly started pretending to be focusing on issues of the SC/BC community. The reality is that they have been doing just lip service. We have called a CLP meeting not only to expose this government's approach towards Dalits, but also to launch the campaign to force the government to go beyond lip service," said Jakhar, during a press conference here.
Accusing the state government of giving lip service, Jakhar said, "These days BJP has been trying to lure Dalits. But reality is that Vijay Sampla, union minister of state for social justice and empowerment, is already telling lies on release of money for scholarship schemes meant of SC and BC students."
"Sampla had claimed that the Centre had already released `149.67 crore to the department of welfare of scheduled castes (SC) and backward classes (BC), Punjab, as its share for post-matric scholarships for scheduled castes. It is a big lie. I am saying it with full accountability. No money has been released by the Centre," said Jakhar.
Dalits have remained an important vote bank for the Congress and the BJP has now been trying hard to win hearts of Dalits before the 2017 assembly elections.
"Various welfare schemes of government for Dalits including scholarship, Shagun scheme, MNREGA and others have been facing shortage of funds. Besides, funds meant for these schemes have been diverted to other purposes. We will expose it in the Vidhan Sabha," said Jakhar.
Jakhar failed to say anything when asked why the Congress has now become so sensitive towards issues of the Dalits, and why it failed to do anything earlier.