New Delhi: A month after the Supreme Court issued notice on a plea seeking appointment of a full-time chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), the government Wednesday approved the name of senior BJP leader and former minister Vijay Sampla for the position.
A gazette notification regarding the appointment of the new chairman will be issued once the President approves it.
Sampla served as a minister of state for social justice and empowerment after contesting the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. He is termed the Dalit face of the party in Doaba region of Punjab where he won the Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha constituency to become a first-time MP. In April 2016, he was appointed as the Punjab BJP chief too. He was, however, not given a ticket in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In October 2020, Sampla was detained and later freed during a farmer protest in Punjab’s Muktsar.
The commission has been without a chairman and members since May last year, inviting criticism from the opposition who alleged atrocities against the SC communities were rising.
The commission is not only meant to safeguard the rights of the SC communities, but to also inquire into specific complaints concerning deprivation of their rights.
Arun Halder, national executive member and BJP state secretary of West Bengal, has been recommended for the position of vice-chairman of the commission.
Anju Bala, a former MP from Misrikh constituency in Uttar Pradesh, and BJP leader Subhash Pardhi, have been approved as members.
Previously, BJP leader and former MP Ram Shankar Katheria was the chairman and L. Murugan, the party’s Tamil Nadu unit chief, the vice-chairperson. Their tenure ended in May last year.