Social security is Dalits’ major concern
Though the issues concerning people hardly found any mention during the electioneering, it was the Atta-Dal scheme that most of the Dalits were seen concerned over during the polling in several villages on Wednesday. The polling booths in Dalit localities witnessed a huge rush throughout the day.
Ironically, most of the voters appeared unaware about the profiles of the candidates as they were discussing about their choice of parties, mainly Takri (weighing scale) and Panja (palm).
While talking to this correspondent, Dalit voters said the Atta-Dal scheme was a major issue for them. Some of them gave the credit to the SAD while others felt that the Congress’ win would result in a betterment.
A group of voters said the Congress was supplying wheat irregularly. And whatever they supplied was delivered only to Congress supporters, they said. “Since the formation of the Congress government in the state, we did not get wheat from the government. They denied us the same as we have been voting for the SAD candidates. The Badal government supplied pulses and wheat to us but it has become irregular now. Even the Congress supporters are not getting it regularly,” said a woman voter from Himatpura village.
Meanwhile, a Congress supporter outside a polling booth in Khankot said, “The SAD had registered fake beneficiaries under the Atta-Dal scheme. Now, the government is providing benefit to real beneficiaries only.”
Some of them said they had no expectation from any of the political parties. “What a sarpanch can give us? The wheat under the Atta-Dal scheme is the only welfare which they can do,” said another woman.
Sandip Singh, a political expert, said, “It is sad that the political parties have crushed the issues of the depressed people with freebies. They are deprived from quality education and basic health facilities. There should be no intervention of political leaders in the distribution of wheat and goods for the welfare of Dalits.”
Dalits allege that there has been an irregular supply of wheat since the Congress has taken over the reins and that the benefit is being given only to Congress supporters. A Congress supporter says fake beneficiaries under the Atta-Dal scheme have been removed.
Source: The Tribune, Sept 20, 2018