BJD protests slashing of SC scholarship, holds hunger strike near Raj Bhawan
Bhubaneswar: Protesting the Central Government’s modification in funding pattern for post-Matric scholarship being provided to Scheduled Cast students in the state, the ruling BJP party held a token relay hunger strike near Raj Bhawan here today.
The ‘dharna’ which started at 9 am in the morning continued till 12 noon. It was attended by Finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera, Pramila Mallick, Padmanav Behera and Lal Bihari Himirika.
Informing on the strike Behera said, the funding in the post-Matric scholarship for SC students in the state was being shared between the Centre and the State on a 90:10 basis till 2016-2017. However, last year the Central Government limited its share to only 20 percent forcing the State Government to bear the rest 80 percent, which we object, he added.
“Now, the Odisha Government is bound to bear 80 percent funding which goes up to Rs 238.28 crore for the scholarships in 2017-18 which is not right,” said Behera.
Notably, CM Naveen Patnaik had already written a letter to Union minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot on November 17 to convey that such an abrupt change in the funding pattern has given a severe jolt to the scholarship.
BJD is also planning to submit a memorandum to Governor addressed to the President demanding to revoke the new financial structure imposed by the Centre.