A delegation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) under the leadership of Deputy Leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, met the chief election officer (CEO) here on Sunday and demanded that the social welfare schemes available to people be kept out of the purview of Model Code of Conduct so that the beneficiaries were not subjected to suffer.Addressing media persons after meeting the CEO, Manuke said that the public welfare schemes, like providing uniforms and books to students and ration provided to the poor and ‘dalit’ under the ‘Atta Dal’ and ‘shagun’ scheme citing Model Code of Conduct violations. She also informed that a memorandum had been submitted to the CEO in this regard. Manuke said that the imposition of Model Code of Conduct should not come in the way when it came to providing facilities to the poor and marginalised section of the society under the social welfare schemes. She said the schemes should be kept out the purview of the Code, which she accused, the government was using as a handle to shy away from its statutory obligations leaving them to rue and rant.AAP leader said that it was pertinent to mention here that since the imposition of Model Code of Conduct, the present political dispensation had stopped public welfare schemes meant for the poor, like the distribution of books and uniforms among the poor and ‘dalit’ category of students in various government schools.
She lamented that since new session in government schools had already begun, the state Government had neither supplied fresh syllabus books to students nor issued uniforms, quoting the Code of Conduct violation, barring them from taking their regular classes.Manuke further said that by the time Model Code of Conduct became in fructuous after the elections were over, summer vacations would start, which would devoid the students from their regular studies due to non-availability of syllabus books and uniforms.She said that the students in the state, especially those belonging to the aforesaid categories, have already suffered a lot at the hands of the insensitive governments, including the erstwhile BJP-SAD government and now the current Captain-led Government in the saddle, procrastinating on social welfare schemes on one pretext or the other.She lamented that some other social welfare schemes meant for the poor, including the Atta-Dal scheme, Shagun scheme had been stalled by the present Government citing Code violation, thus leaving the poor suffer.Manuke demanded, through the memorandum, that public welfare schemes like providing books, uniforms to the students covered under the listed categories on time and other public welfare schemes, like the Atta-dal scheme, Shagun Scheme should not be stalled citing certain flimsy reasons.