The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot for working against the interests of both communities and asked him to resign immediately for failing to disburse ‘shagun’ scheme benefit to SC and BC brides.n a statement here, former chief parliamentary secretary Pawan Kumar Teenu said it was shocking that Dharamsot, who belonged to a dalit family himself, had failed to release the ‘shagun’ amount of Rs 21,000 to 43,000 SC and BC brides in the last nine months since the Congress government came into being. “Dharamsot does not have any right to continue as minister after this cold hearted treatment meted out to the most oppressed sections of society. If he does not quit on this own, we will make him quit by starting a mass movement against him”, Teenu added.The SAD spokesman said it was shocking that the minister was trying to cover up his failures by claiming that the government was probing the genuineness of beneficiaries. “First of all it speaks about the functioning of Dharamsot that he has not been able to conduct this exercise even after nine months of government formation. Secondly it is clear that this claim is patently false because the government did not indulge in any verification exercise while releasing ‘shagun’ to all eligible beneficiaries in Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts on the eve of the Gurdaspur byelection”.
Mr Teenu said this was not all. The minister had also lied publically by stating that ‘shagun’ scheme benefit had been released to several districts when asked why this had been done only for Gurdaspur and Pathankot. “I challenge him to tell the names of the other districts where ‘shagun’ benefits have been released to SC/BC brides along with list of beneficiaries”.Stating that this was not the first time that Dharamsot had worked against the interests of the dalit community, the Akali leader said the minister had also failed to release post matric scholarship to dalit students despite the fact that the Congress government received Rs 117 crore from the centre under this scheme. “Thousands of dalit students were not able to take admission while many others were stopped from sitting for examinations as their fee had not been paid to their respective institutions by the government. Even in this case Dharamsot claimed that an audit had delayed release of the scholarship and has failed to release the scholarship to students despite a solemn assurance in the Vidhan Sabha on this issue”.Stating that the dalit and backward classes should not suffer due to the inefficiencies of Dharamsot, the Akali leader said the people had lost faith in his ability to head the SC and BC Welfare ministry and that he should quit immediately.