SC wing wants Sonia for meet

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The Scheduled Castes wing of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) will organise a convention in Bengaluru in September and plans to invite All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi for the event, said president of the SC wing N. Manjunath. Mr Manjunath said the date of the convention will be finalized soon and added that party workers’ meetings have be conducted in all districts to mobilize people for the convention and make it a grand success.

He urged the ruling BJP to constitute an expert panel comprising of retired Supreme Court judges to appoint a suitable person to the post of Lokayukta which is lying vacant for a long time. If the panel recommends the names of three individuals, one name can be selected and sent to the Governor for his approval, the sources said. “It was the Lokayukta institution which helped the State restore its dignity, especially when Justice Santosh Hegde was heading the Lokayukta. Based on Mr Hegde’s recommendation, former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was removed from the post for his alleged involvement in illegal mining in the state,” Mr Manjunath said, adding, “At least 14 ministers in the state cabinet are facing charges of corruption.” Criticizing the BJP government for its ‘anti-dalit’ policies, he said: “There are 7,000 backlog posts vacant in the State and the state government has initiated steps to fill them. He wanted the government to fill up the posts on priority basis.”

Mr Manjunath also complained that SC/ST Vigilance Committee meetings have not been conducted under BJP rule till now with the last meeting of the Vigilance Committee held when H.D. Kumaraswamy was Chief Minister in 2006-07. Union social welfare minister Mukul Wasnik had written a letter to the state government requesting them to hold the meetings and furnish details so that adequate funds could be released, he said.

Mr Manjunath referred to a statement by minister for social welfare Narayanaswamy that about 4 lakh officials and workers have availed “fake” caste certificates and that the state government had identified them. He urged Mr Narayanswamy to disclose the names of the officials and employees of the state government who have availed such “fake” caste certificates.

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