Working for all-round welfare of minorities, says Naqvi

Accusing the government of discrimination over the funds for the minority development, an Opposition MP on Thursday said the BJP-led government should do away with the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Rejecting the Opposition charge, the government said it has been working for the all-round development of the minorities without any appeasement, discrimination and political exploitation.

“We are empowering all poor, backwards and downtrodden people without any appeasement. We follow the mantra of development without discrimination and empowerment with dignity,” Union Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Naqvi dismissed the suggestions that there have been poor development initiatives for the minorities in the recent past, and said the allocation of funds in schemes like scholarships for minority students was more during the Modi government than the previous UPA regime.

Pointing out that his requests for funds for hostels (girls and boys) in the minority-dominated areas of his Kishanganj constituency in Bihar were not met, Congress MP Mohammad Javed said: “I had requested for a university like AMU in my constituency. In the budget, there has been allocation of Rs 50-51 crore for hostels at two places, but not in my constituency. Why should there be this minority ministry for which the budgetary allocation is just Rs 5 crore in the national budget of Rs 22-lakh crore? Why can’t you close it down?” Several Opposition MPs supported him.

With Naqvi pointing out that the government is not providing funds on communal lines but for the poor, Javed said that “every second or third person in his constituency is poor”.

“The ministry of minority affairs was not Modiji’s creation. Its a legacy you have left,” Naqvi said.

Responding to Kollam MP N K Premchandaran who asked if the government would endow due preference and priority on starting Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas in minority-concentrated blocks, Naqvi said the government’s endowed priority is to ensuring the progress of the poor, eligible and the backward.

DMK MP A Raja wanted to know if the government has taken note of the decreasing number of representation of minorities among the UPSC candidates. To this, Naqvi said it was not true that the number has gone down and the government has been providing free coaching to the deserving candidates.

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