‘SC, ST, OBC hostel inmates to get sponsored foodgrain’

PATNA: A day after chief minister Nitish Kumar’s announcement that scheduled tribes as well as members of the or Dusadh community would now get the benefits given to the Mahadalits in the state, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday reciprocated the gesture by announcing that the boarders of 117 Ambedkar hostels of scheduled caste (SC), apart from hostels of scheduled tribe (ST), other backward caste (OBC), including OBC among minorities, in the state will get foodgrain at subsidized rates.
“The CM had raised this demand at a function to mark Dr B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on Saturday. I am happy to announce today that the Centre will make the facility available at hostels meant for students from backward communities in the state,” the (LJP) chief and Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution told mediapersons here.

He said students living in these hostels would get 15kg of foodgrain each per month. “We will make the allotment to the state government after getting the list of beneficiaries,” he said.

Paswan asserted that the Centre would not allow any dilution in the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and, if needed, it would bring an ordinance to restore its provisions. “The Centre has already filed a review petition in the . We are expecting a favourable judgment from the apex court. However, in case of any negative outcome, the ordinance route is always open,” he said.

The LJP chief also pitched for reservation for dalits, tribals and OBCs in judiciary. “People from weaker sections of society do not have adequate representation in the Supreme Court, high courts as well as lower courts. There should be reservation for them in judiciary. We have raised the issue several times, but to no avail. If reservation in judiciary is not possible, the government should constitute the on the lines of All India Services to ensure a transparent and efficient method of recruitment of judges as per reservation norms. The emphasis should be on attracting the best talent in the country’s legal profession,” Paswan said.

Paswan, who recently suggested the BJP to build an inclusive society, said, “Give us three months and we will change the perception of the NDA government. People will start terming PM an ‘Amdedkarite’.” He reiterated that it was his party which forced the NDA government at the Centre to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its decision on SC/ST Act.

He came down heavily on opposition parties in the state for their “divide and rule” policies. Paswan said Dalit Sena, a wing of LJP, will hold Dalit Ekta Diwas at panchayat level across the state on April 20. “The programme is aimed at celebrating the inclusion of Paswans in Mahadalit category,” Paswan said.

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