PATNA: Members of all communities under the SC and ST categories including Dusadh (Paswan) would now be treated at par with Mahadalits in Bihar.
Addressing a function organised by Dalit Sena, a wing of Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP, to observe the birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar at Bapu Sabhagar here, CM Nitish Kumar on Saturday announced that all schemes under the Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission (BMVM) would henceforth be extended to all communities in SC and ST categories.
Out of 22 communities under SC category in Bihar, 21– except Dusadh (Paswan)– were included in the list of Mahadalit. The LJP chief Ram Vilas Pasawan and his party had since long been demanding inclusion of Dusadh in the list of Mahadalit.
Even today prominent LJP leaders like its MP Chirag Paswan and Dalit Sena national president Ram Chandra Paswan, in their address, urged the CM to include Paswan in the list of Mahadalit.
Responding to the LJP leaders’ demand, CM said he had launched the BMVM in August 2007 with the sole motto to provide some extra assistance to the extremely poor among the Dalits to bring them in the mainstream of society. “But henceforth, all schemes of the BMVM would be extended to all communities in both SC and ST category,” Nitish said amidst thunderous applause from the audience comprising workers of Dalit Sena and LJP.
The CM’s announcement means that from now onwards, all community under the SC including Dusadh (Paswan) and STs would get benefits of the schemes launched by the BMVM.
Earlier in February 2015, the then CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, by convening a special meeting of the cabinet, had approved a proposal to include Dusadh (Paswan) caste in the list of Mahadalits. But the decision taken by Manjhi cabinet was later annulled by another cabinet headed by Nitish Kumar.
CM also announced that his government has decided to construct one ‘community shed’ at cost of Rs 23 lakh in each tola of Dalits across the state. The community shed would comprise a community hall, kitchen and other facilities.
Nitish also announced an increase of amount for the uniform allowance of village chowkidar and dafadar. He said, a chowkidar would now get Rs 7,000 per annum as uniform allowance in lieu of existing rate of Rs 3,000, while Dafadar would get Rs 8,000 per annum in place of Rs 3,000 per annum.
Recounting the steps undertaken for the overall development of SC/ ST by the successive governments under him since November 2005, Nitish said the previous RJD-led government allocated only Rs 32 crore in FY 2005-06 for scholarship to the members of SC/ ST. But his government has increased this amount to Rs 428 crore in FY 2018-19.
“Similarly, the total budget of SC/ST welfare department was just Rs 40.38 crore in FY 2005-06. It has been increased to Rs 1550 crore in FY 2018-19,” he said.
CM also assured the audience that his government was not going to compromise with anyone on the issue of corruption, crime and communalism.
“The rule of law prevails in Bihar and it will continue to prevail as long as I am in the government. We neither save anyone not implicate anyone in any type of case. Here, the law takes its own course,” he said in presence of Bihar deputy CM and BJP senior Sushil Kumar Modi.