Ex-Gujarat BJP MLA set to head Safai Karamcharis Commission


A former BJP legislator from Gujarat is set to take over as the new chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK), which has been headless for about a year.

The government has cleared the names of Manhar Valjibhai Zala as the chairperson and Manju Diler from Uttar Pradesh and Dilip Kallu Haathived from Maharashtra as members of the NCSK, but the announcement had to be postponed in view of the model code of conduct in place for assembly polls, sources said.

Zala and the two members are likely to take charge on March 16, an official source said.

The Election Commission had barred the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which is the nodal ministry of the body, from announcing the names of the new chairperson and members till the polling process was over in five states.

Zala, a former MLA from Jamnagar, has been associated with the BJP since 1991.

He was the mayor of Jamnagar from 2005 to 2008.

He also served as the Gujarat vice-president of Anu Suchit Jati Morcha from 1999 to 2004 and was the Director of Safai Kamdar Vikas Nigam in Gandhinagar in 2014.

Diler from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and Haathived from Nagpur in Maharashtra are also learnt to have been associated with the ruling party at the Centre, the source said.

For close to a year now, the NCSK does not have even a member after the retirement of the chairperson and other members on March 31, 2016.

The NCSK, established in 1994 to promote and safeguard the interests and rights of safai karamcharis and those engaged in manual scavenging, has a sanctioned strength of four members and a chairperson.

The government had extended the tenure of the Commission for another three years from April 1, 2016.