MANGALURU: Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya said that he would continue with his initiative of staying in colonies of dalits and houses of the poor in all districts.
“This will help me to learn more about their problems and to extend government facilities to them,” Anjaneya told reporters on Sunday.
The minister had spent the New Year with the residents of Gombegallu Haadi (Chamarajanagar).
“The Social Welfare Department has initiated several welfare programmes for SC/STs and backward classes. If any government official refuses to sanction the facilities meant for SC/STs, strict action will be initiated against them,” he said.
“The state planning commission had allocated Rs.65,000 crore for development works. As the SC/ST community constitutes 24 per cent of the total population, Rs.15,834 crore has been reserved for their betterment. If the amount reserved for SC/STs is not utilised within the stipulated time, it can be used the next year. It enables the department to take up development works at all places,” he said.
On appointing dalit priests in temples that come under the Muzrai Department, Anjaneya said discussions are on and the department is collecting details about the number of priests working in various temples.
“We are planning to appoint dalit priests....proper training will be given to them on chanting mantras,” he said. He said Congress is the only party which provided opportunities to dalits in politics.
“Though all other districts in the state have Ambedkar Bhavans, Dakshina Kannada district doesn’t have one. Rs.1 crore has been sanctioned to build an Ambedkar Bhavan and Babu Jagjivan Ram Bhavan here,” he said.
On BJP leader Eshwarappa’s statement that the Congress would become Harakeya Kuri (sacrificial goat) shortly, Anjaneya said, “The Congress is a national party and no one can destroy it. But Eshwarappa himself would become Harakeya Kuri shortly as his own leaders will ditch him.”