Sunday, November 7, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Punia alleges political vendetta from Maya

Punia alleges political vendetta from Maya

Anand Raj Singh
Express News ServiceFirst Published : 07 Nov 2010 02:16:02 AM IST
Last Updated : 07 Nov 2010 09:56:53 AM IST

LUCKNOW: National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
chairman Panna Lal Punia, while on a pre-announced visit to the state
capital around Diwali and meeting with his supporters in the
neighbouring Barabanki district which he represents in the Lok Sabha
for the Congress, has accused the Mayawati Government of pursuing
political vendetta against him.

He has also said that though the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party clams to
represent and care for the Dalits, the truth is otherwise.

Punia, who fell out of Mayawati's favour over the Taj Corridor project
case after having worked as one of her top most bureaucrats during her
three previous stints as chief minister, said he had no personal proof
that Mayawati really cared for Dalits.

"I worked as Principal Secretary earlier. But I was never asked to
work out schemes for the welfare of the Dalits," Punia claimed.

Though he has been meeting NGOs and social organisations working for
the Dalit welfare, no government official has so far met him during
his ongoing visit to the state capital.

He said that during the meetings he gathered information about the
incidents of crime against the Dalits.

He also plans to attend two programmes to be organised in Lucknow by
the Baudh Maha Sabha on November 20 and 21 and the Akhil Bharatiya
Swachhkar Mahasabha on November 27 and 28.

He said he planned to visit every district not only in Uttar Pradesh
but across the nation. "There is lack of awareness among the Dalits
about the safeguards to protect them. They have no knowledge about the
Special Component Plan (SCP)."

Punia said the state government had written him five letters in the
last few days to postpone his meeting with state officials to review
issues related to Dalits.

"The same government that never sends replies to the commission's
queries on time sent five letters seeking postponement of my visit,"
he said. Punia said it is a set practice that the NCSC chairman holds
a meeting with the Chief Secretary and the DGP in every state to
review the issues such as crime against the Dalits, reservation for
them and expenditure incurred from the SCP. "The state government
pleaded that it needed time to collect information for the meeting,"
Punia said.

"They wanted the commission to postpone the meeting in view of
Diwali. Now they want a detailed meeting after December 6," he said.


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