(Ranike says dalits sore that Cong govt has stopped all welfare schemes)
(Says it was a shame that Cong govt was not releasing money for maintenance of Ram Teerath and construction of Guru Ravi Das shrine)
Shahkot, May 17 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has received a huge boost with more than 150 families attached with the Congress and AAP joining the SAD due to its pro-dalit policies.
The dalit families joined the SAD in three separate functions yesterday besides one function today. More dalit families are expected to join the Congress as they are thoroughly disillusioned with AAP and are angry with the Congress government for stopping all welfare schemes and its refusal to increase welfare grants as promised by it on the eve of the last assembly elections.
Giving details, former minister and SAD SC wing president Gulzar Singh Ranike said 30 Congress families joined the SAD at a function in Jhiri village while another 50 Congress families joined the party at Klar village. He said the dalit families recounted how all social welfare disbursals were disbursed timely during SAD-BJP tenure but had been completely stopped for more than one year during Congress rule. They said forget giving anything the Congress government had deleted thousands of ration cards of dalits due to which they were being denied the benefit of the “aata – daal” scheme. The dalit families also disclosed that even the ‘shagun’ scheme and the SC scholarship scheme was not being implemented.
Mr Ranike while speaking on the occasion said it was a shame that the Congress government was not releasing money for the maintenance of the Ram Teerath shrine in Amritsar. “The shrine is in a deplorable condition with ‘sewadars’ not being paid salaries and even its water supply has been affected”. He said the position of the Guru Ravi Das shrine at Khuralgarh was worse with all work being stopped due to non-release of funds by the Congress government. “The Dalit community is now remembering the good work done by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal by raising these memorials and will unite to teach a lesson to the Congress party for insulting their icons”, he added.
The SC wing leader also condemned the Congress government for refusing to implement the central medical insurance scheme in Punjab. He said the poor and under-privileged were in dire need of this facility and when all other States were implementing the scheme, it was mystifying why the Congress government was denying this facility to Punjabis.
Meanwhile Mr Ranike also addressed a public gathering at Aidalpur village where 70 dalit families left AAP and joined the SAD. The former AAP supporters said they had been misled with lies by AAP which had proved to be an anti-Punjab and anti-Punjabi family. The families assured overwhelming support to the SAD.
A large number of dalit families joined the SAD at Chak Badala and neighbouring villages today in Lohian block. Others present on the occasion included SGPC member Baldev Singh Kalyan, Lohian circle president Kamaljit Sodhi, SC wing Secretary Manjit Singh Mehton, Iqbal Singh Ghuman and Iqbal Singh Pannu.