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"National Scheduled Castes Alliance Accuses Bhagwant Mann's Administration of Constitutional Apathy"

"Silence of SC 'Legislators' including AAP's working President on Scheduled Caste issues a matter of concern" – Kainth

19 October, 2023 08:21 PM

Chandigarh News Network- Chandigarh 19 October - The National Scheduled Castes Alliance strongly condemned the apparent indifference exhibited by the Aam Aadmi Party's government in Punjab regarding the constitutional appointments and reservation policy, which directly concerns the fundamental rights of the Scheduled Castes community in Punjab as enshrined in Article 46 of the Constitution of India. Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann's government, led by the Aam Aadmi Party, is undermining the constitutional rights and reservations of the Scheduled Castes, with the National Scheduled Castes Alliance asserting collusion on the part of the Aam Aadmi Party's SC Cabinet Ministers and MLAs.

 Paramjit Singh Kainth, President of the Scheduled Castes Alliance, highlights that appointments within the Scheduled Caste Commission and the Advocate General's office in Punjab are being persistently overlooked and neglected. It is crucial to recognize that there exist legal provisions such as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which were enacted to protect Scheduled Castes from social discrimination, including practices like untouchability and exploitation. Furthermore, there are statutory bodies like the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, as well as the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission, which were established to safeguard the rights and interests of Scheduled Castes. The Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission was constituted on February 16, 2004, and the Scheduled Castes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 2004, is in place in Punjab to protect and uphold the interests of the Scheduled Caste population.

 The neglect of appointments to these commissions has a tangible impact on the lives of Scheduled Castes individuals. For instance, the delay in appointments to the Scheduled Caste Commission has resulted in a backlog of unresolved grievances and cases, leaving many in limbo without proper recourse. 

Kainth also said, “Of particular concern is the neglect of appointments to the chairmanship of these commissions over the past three years. Notably, Punjab houses 29 MLAs, including the Aam Aadmi Party's working president, of which two represent general constituencies in Mohali and Guru Har Sahai. Additionally, Jalandhar, a Lok Sabha constituency reserved for Scheduled Castes, where more than 40 percent of the population is Dalits, sees a disappointing silence from its Member of Parliament. This silence raises concerns about the representation and advocacy for the rights of the Dalit community and raises questions about the commitment to addressing their concerns”.

 

Kainth emphasized further, “The Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab governs over a population of over one crore Scheduled Castes. Any attempt to suppress the exercise of their constitutional rights is a matter that cannot and will not be tolerated. The National Scheduled Castes Alliance aims to collaborate with like-minded organizations to pressure the government into addressing these issues. We are demanding immediate appointments to the vacant positions and a comprehensive review of policies that affect the Scheduled Castes in Punjab”.

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