Mehatpur, May 22 - Former minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Scheduled Caste wing president Gulzar Singh Ranike today said the Congress government had proved that it was anti- Valmiki and anti- Mazbi by refusing to give any representation to both communities in the State cabinet.
Addressing meetings in favour of SAD candidate Ajit Singh Kohar at Ismailpur and Mehsampur, the former minister said never before had this happened in the history of the State. He said during SAD- BJP tenure both communities had been given due respect and senior leader Charanjit Singh Atwal had even been elected Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. He said during Congress tenure however both the Valmiki and Mazbi communities had been ignored even as no representation was given to backward classes.
Mr Ranike said this was not the only instance of discrimination against the Dalit community by the Congress government. He said despite being in power for more than one year the government had failed to disburse fee scholarship to SC students. He said this move had not only caused hardship to SC families but also resulted in dis-continuation of higher education of many Dalit students. “College managements have also forced SC students to pay fee before sitting in annual examinations”.
Speaking about the various memorials and shrines built under the chief ministership of S Parkash Singh Badal, the SC Wing president said the Ram Teerath shrine, which had been beautified at a cost of Rs 300 crore by the SAD- BJP government, was suffering now due to lack of maintenance. He said similarly work on the shrine of Guru Ravi Das ji at Khuralgarh had come to a virtual stop. “The SAD-BJP government spent Rs 200 crore to beautify this shrine”.
Mr Ranike said this was not all. He said the Shagun scheme, which helped in the wedding of under privileged brides, had been discontinued. He said similarly cycles were also not being given to girl students.
The Akali leader asked the people to give a jolt to the Congress government by defeating its corrupt candidate Hardev Singh Laadi. “This is the only way to force the government to take care of the welfare of Dalits”, he added.