Hyderabad: The Congress and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Tuesday urged the state government to accord statutory status to the Dalit Bandhu scheme. They opined that a statutory backing would create confidence among Dalits and also ensure implementation of scheme irrespective of whichever party comes to power in the future.
However, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said there was no need to extend statutory status for implementation of schemes like the Dalit Bandhu but assured that the government would seek the opinion of legal and constitutional experts on this issue.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said it would be better to accord statutory status to a massive scheme like Dalit Bandhu, which the state government was planning to implement at a cost of Rs 1.80 lakh crore to cover all 18 lakh Dalit families in Telangana in phases.
"Since it takes a few years to implement this scheme in phases, it would be better to accord statutory status to the Dalit Bandhu to ensure that it does not pose any problems in future for any unforeseen reasons," Bhatti said.
AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi also sought statutory status to the Dalit Bandhu but asked whether government would extend Dalit Bandhu to minorities since it is a non-statutory scheme at present.
"The Telangana government released a GO in 2018 extending all non-statutory benefits to minorities which are being extended to SCs and STs. If that is so, I want to ask whether the Dalit Bandhu will be extended to Minorities as well along with SCs now," Owaisi said.
Owaisi said minorities deserve Dalit Bandhu-type scheme as several reports of the Centre and state government on the socio, economic, educational status of Minorities clearly indicated that the condition of minorities was worse than SCs and STs, he added.
However, the Chief Minister replied that minorities would be covered later.
Owaisi expressed unhappiness over the injustice meted out to minorities welfare after the Chief Minister left the department.
"The minorities welfare department functioned properly and got funds regularly when theh Chief Minister was handling the department during his first term. But after he left the department during his second term since 2019, the condition of minorities welfare has become pathetic," Owaisi said....