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Congress plans to reintegrate 20,000 students into education system in Karnataka

According to senior Congress leader and minister Priyank Kharge, these 20,000 students had dropped out of schools and colleges for reasons like the hijab ban and COVID-induced financial crisis. The government is actively devising a plan to reintegrate these students into educational institutions, says Kharge.

May 26, 2023 / 02:17 PM IST
Priyank Kharge

Priyank Kharge tells Moneycontrol the government's plan is to establish “peace and prosperity” in the state.

The newly-elected Congress government in Karnataka has decided to ensure that 20,000 students who dropped out of schools and colleges for various reasons, including financial crisis during COVID-19 pandemic and the hijab ban, are reintegrated into the education system.

The government is currently engaged in deliberations to review the executive orders and bills that were put into effect by the previous BJP government, led by Basavaraj Bommai. The review encompasses laws such as the anti-conversion law and the anti-cow slaughter law.

In an interview with Moneycontrol, Priyank Kharge, a senior Congress leader and cabinet minister, expressed the government's plan to establish “peace and prosperity” in the state. He further stated that any bill which has a negative impact on the state’s image, investment climate, employment opportunities, or individual rights will be repealed by the government.

Hijab ban, COVID-19 crisis

Kharge said that, over the past three years, more than 20,000 students have discontinued their education in schools and colleges due to various reasons, including the ban on wearing hijabs.

The government is actively devising a plan to reintegrate these students into educational institutions. He said that during COVID-19, many individuals lost their jobs, which had a detrimental impact on their children's education.

"During COVID-19, people lost their jobs, which had an adverse effect on their children's education. The previous government failed to effectively address the situation and implemented a ban on wearing hijabs, affecting the Muslim girls’ education,” he said.

The ban on hijab was concerning and said the present government in Karnataka would address all obstacles through legal means.

“Our aim is to ensure that every section of society receives their rightful entitlement,” said the Congress minister.

Action against corruption

Priyank, who is the son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, said that his party campaigned on the “40 percent Sarkara” poll plank in the recent election. This was because of the widespread corruption during the previous government’s tenure, he said.

Kharge alleged that there were numerous scams that had a negative impact on development and employment in Karnataka. The people of the state were promised justice, and the Congress government has taken steps to initiate the process of addressing these issues.

“We are resolute in our position, and all scams will be thoroughly investigated. In fact, two cases related to a Rs 431 crore borewell scam have already been registered at Vidhana Soudha police station, and a probe has been initiated,” he added.

Kharge claimed that the BJP, during its tenure, was unsuccessful in providing borewells to marginalised communities and instead misappropriated funds intended for their welfare.

He further alleged that contractors from the Water Resources Department were awarded contracts for drilling borewells, and varying rates were established for beneficiaries belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other backward classes.

Ban on organisations

“Any activity taken by any organisation, be it political or religious, that disturbs peace and fuels communal tension in Karnataka will be prohibited. The Congress government will not hesitate to take appropriate measures and action,” he said.

The party has received a resounding mandate in the state, and every legislator and minister is enthusiastic about working for the welfare of the people.

“We need to focus on creating employment opportunities and promoting the state's economic growth. The days of certain groups gathering at police stations and causing law and order disturbances are gone. Regardless of the organisation involved, including the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), if they are found to be disrupting peace, appropriate action will be taken," said Kharge.

Sohil Sehran
Sohil Sehran