Telangana govt. stops receiving applications for Dalit Bandhu

HYDERABAD: The state government has stopped receiving applications for Dalit Bandhu across the state in the wake of recent High Court verdict that MLAs' recommendation was not needed for selection of beneficiaries. The government is devising fresh guidelines for the selection of beneficiaries.

The High Court on November 17 ordered that only the committee appointed by the state government should decide on the beneficiaries of the Dalit Badhu and not MLAs. The government had accorded MLAs the power to select beneficiaries when it launched Dalit Bandhu in August 2021.

In the first phase, MLAs were given the responsibility of selecting 100 beneficiaries each in their respective constituencies in the previous financial year (2021-22). This evoked severe protests in several constituencies with people from Dalit sections accusing the MLAs of extending the benefit only to their supporters or TRS workers or to their family members and friends.

Out of total 119 Assembly constituencies in state, TRS has 104 MLAs. Almost all the beneficiaries in the state were selected by TRS MLAs. Even in constituencies represented by six Congress MLAs and three BJP MLAs, the TRS local leaders played a key role in selection of beneficiaries by exerting pressure on officials.

Despite this, the state government went ahead with its decision and asked MLAs to select 1,500 beneficiaries in each constituency for the current fiscal (2022-23) in three phases. The first phase to select 500 beneficiaries is currently going on and at this stage the High Court verdict came.

With this, the government halted the process and preparing guidelines for the formation of committees comprising of officials.

The government asked Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and senior officials of Scheduled Castes Development department to draft the guidelines on the composition of committees for selection of beneficiaries.

Officials from revenue and SC Development department are likely to be included in the committees at constituency level to process, verify and approve the applications for Dalit Bandhu.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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