Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Orders Probe Into Irregularities In SC Scholarship Scheme

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Orders Probe Into Irregularities In SC Scholarship Scheme

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday ordered a comprehensive probe into alleged irregularities in the post-matric scholarship scheme that had surfaced during the previous Congress regime in the state. Mann took to Twitter to announce this decision. “I have received files pertaining to the release of scholarship amount during the previous government. Irregularities have been found in releasing funds to private institutions… orders have been issued for a probe,” Punjab Chief Minister Mann tweeted while promising to act against those who put the future of Scheduled Caste students at stake. “Account of every single penny will be taken,” said Mann.

The alleged “multi-crore” post matric scholarship scam had surfaced in 2020 following a report by the then additional chief secretary, discovering alleged misappropriation of Rs 55.71 crore. The report also questioned the role of the then social justice minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in allegedly shielding those involved in the scam. The then chief minister Amarinder Singh had then directed the then state chief secretary to conduct a thorough probe.

The chief secretary’s report, based on the findings of a three-member panel of IAS officers, had exonerated Dharamsot. Reacting to Mann’s announcement, AAP MP Raghav Chadha said, “In pursuit of sheer gluttonous greed to swell up their personal coffers Congressman swindled even the scholarship money meant for students of underprivileged & weaker sections. “With the unyielding resolve of CM @BhagwantMann we will recover every single penny & punish perpetrators,” he tweeted.

Last month, Dharamsot, who also held the portfolio of forest minister in the previous government, was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in a corruption case in connection with the felling of trees. At present, Dharamsot is in judicial remand. The SC scholarship scam had given enough ammunition to the opposition to target the previous Amarinder Singh-led government.

Last year, when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was in opposition, it had statewide protests over the alleged multi-crore post matric scholarship scam and demanded the registration of a case against Dharamsot.

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