‘Pressure’ on minister to give up Social Welfare portfolio - ECAS Punjab

‘Pressure’ on minister to give up Social Welfare portfolio

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Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3

Even as the state government is learnt to have stepped up its efforts to bail out Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the SC post-matric scholarship scam, pressure is building on the lawmaker from within the Punjab Congress to relinquish his charge of social welfare till he is cleared of the taint.

Already, the anti-Dalit narrative being built by the Opposition, especially in the Doaba region, has left the Congress leadership worried.

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Some Cabinet colleagues of Dharamsot, who did not wish to be named, said, "Volunteering to give up the social welfare charge till the pendency of the inquiry will not only boost the image of the government but will also go in Dharamsot's favour. He can still remain a minister. The party had ordered an audit of bungling that occurred during the Akali regime, but now, we have to prove ourselves to the people."

Senior Dalit leader from Majha Raj Kumar Verma said the Congress government should take the initiative to punish those behind the bungling of funds meant for SC students. He also blamed the Akalis for the scam.

Expressing concern, some Dalit MLAs are learnt to have taken up the issue with PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar.

Jakhar said the Chief Minister had sought a report from the Chief Secretary and had already stated that there was no question of protecting or shielding anyone. MLA Sushil Rinku said there should be no leniency in acting against those involved in the wrong disbursal of funds. "A proper and transparent investigation should be done and the inquiry should reveal who has been benefited," he said. With the Opposition parties gunning for Dharamsot's resignation, Dalit politics in the Congress has heated up. Sources said Dharamsot could lose his berth in the event of a Cabinet reshuffle.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3lLGAxT

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