The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) and the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) has welcomed Home Minister P.C. Chidambaram's admission in Parliament of diversion of funds from Delhi's Special Component Plan (Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan) to meet Commonwealth Games-related expenditure.
NCDHR and HLRN had released a report on illegal diversion of funds in May. This was also confirmed by the Delhi Government's Department for Welfare of SC/ST/OBC / Minorities in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application in June.
Mr. Chidambaram's affirmation that “using Rs.678 crore” from SCSP towards Games infrastructure “appears to be wrong” is being seen as a positive development by the organisations.
In a press statement, the organisations said Mr. Chidambaram's “admission stands in stark contradiction to the position of the Delhi Govt., including that of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit” who had denied any diversion of funds from SCP's on two earlier occasions.
The statement further said Mr. Chidambaram's admission disproved government's “flawed argument” that Scheduled Castes would “indirectly benefit from the Commonwealth Games”.
It said the expenditure on Games-related projects like “Queen's Baton Relay and flyovers hold no direct benefits for SCs and are not legally permissible under the SCP.”