Union Minister for Minorities Affairs Rahman Khan on Sunday said he will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid urging them to take steps to restore Haj quota for Karnataka.
Speaking after inaugurating the online computerised qurrah programme (online draw of lots for Haj pilgrimage), he said the Haj Committee of India should have protested when the Centre released the Haj quota recently.
“I wonder why this happened. I was not informed about this issue. Otherwise I would have taken it up,” he stated. Minister for Haj and Infrastructure Development Roshan Baig urged Khan to take a delegation of leaders from the State to the Centre on the issue. “It is very unfortunate that the quota has been slashed. We cannot tolerate this,” he added.
The decision to reduce the quota will result in private tour operators fleecing the poor. People who wish to go on pilgrimage are forced to pay Rs 6 to Rs 8 lakh per person to the tour operators.
Most of the times, the tour operators cheat the pilgrims. Several cases have been lodged across the State in this regard. Home Minister K J George has been requested to take measures to punish the guilty, Baig said.
Earlier, 3,628 seats of the total State quota of 4,977 were selected through the online draw of lots.
As many as 1,349 seats have been allotted under reserve category A (above 70 years of age) and 471 seats under reserve category B (4th attempt).