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Sukhpal Singh Khaira,MLA Bholath


Pension scam in Badalís village

Sukhpal Singh Khaira,

MLA Bholath.

June 15, 2010

Congress demands an immediate in-depth inquiry into the alleged pension scam unearthed by a leading english daily today regarding fraudulent disbursement of pensions in the native village of Chief Minister S. Parkash Singh Badal. As per information sought under RTI 2005 by one of the residents of V. Badal, major discrepancies have come to the fore. Many who are dead, are on the disbursal list of the gram panchayat loyal to the Chief Minister. Similarly ineligible persons who are below the age of 60 are drawing pension and those deserving handicapped have to run from pillar to post but are denied pension. Alarmingly, those loyal to the Badal family who are below the age of 60 or are ineligible are also drawing pension, making a complete mockery of this scheme meant for the old, destitute and poor.

The reported pension scam of village Badal reflect a highly politicized administrative set up of the state Govt. which has utterly failed to live up the aspirations of the poor people of Punjab.  If this is the condition of the Chief Minister’s village, one can imagine the plight of pension scheme across the state. Congress party has been alleging since long that there are gross irregularities in all social welfare schemes including the ‘shagun’ scheme, ‘Atta-Dal’ scheme or other benefits meant for the weaker sections in the state. The ruling party and its ‘Jathedar’s’ have virtually hijacked the administrative machinery of the state and have adopted a policy of pick and choose when it comes to implementation of social welfare schemes. Only those are included in the list of beneficiaries who swear allegiance to the ruling Akali Dal party and promise to vote for them in future, all others are denied these benefits meant for the poor of Punjab.

The Congress party is of the opinion that the Chief Minister has no moral right to govern the state if he cannot implement govt. schemes transparently in his own village. Therefore, the Congress calls for an urgent inquiry and strict action against all those be it the gram panchayat or officials involved in the said pension scam.