Cong, others only extracted from minorities: Heptulla

Last Updated 31 August 2015, 14:02 IST
Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla today charged the 'grand secular alliance' with treating Muslims as vote bank and said the constituent parties in the coalition have only extracted out of the minorities.

"The Congress and some other parties, namely RJD, SP and JD(U), have always treated Muslims as vote bank but have done nothing for socio-economic empowerment of the minorities in return," she told reporters here.

"When you treat anything as a bank, then you keep depositing something in it, but in Muslims' case, Congress and the other parties have not done so and only extracted out of the minorities," Heptulla said.

In contrast, the NDA government at the Centre has rolled out six-point agenda for socio-economic and academic progress of the minorities all of which have been implemented through pilot projects, she said.

She also categorically denied charges of Muslims in the country living under constant insecurity as claimed by critics, saying the Narendra Modi government has set out to implement the agenda of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' (inclusive growth of all Indians).

Referring to the Bihar Assembly polls due in a couple of months' time, Heptulla said that she has all the reasons to believe that the BJP-led NDA will romp to power by vanquishing the secular alliance at the hustings.

Asked whether the BJP will accommodate minorities in seat distributions for Bihar Assembly polls, the Union Minister said that her party will take along all alliance partners and all sections of society in the electoral battleground in the state.

She slammed the Bihar police for the lathicharge on hundreds of madarsa teachers in Patna three days ago while they were protesting in support of their demands, including salaries and said that the incident spoke volumes of the Nitish Kumar government's commitment to the minorities in Bihar.

Heptulla charged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with withholding sanction on funds for payment of salaries to the madarsa teachers in Bihar for which his erstwhile deputy and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar had made budgetory provisions couple of years ago.

Heptulla was here to launch a Minorities Affairs scheme for linking of traditional educational institutions like Madarsas/Maktabs/Monasteries and others with skill training for the minority communities.

She, along with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, inaugurated the skill training centres in Madarsa Idara-e-Shariah, Sultanganj in Patna city and Madarsa Anjuman Islamia and Madarsa Islamia Anjuman Rafaqul Muslimin at Motihari, East Champaran district through remote video link.

In all 3,600 students enrolled at three madarsas will get training for skill development for which the Maulana Azad National Academy for Skill (MANAS) will act as facilitator, Heptulla said, adding that a budgetory provision of Rs 3.60 crore has been made by MANAS to run this pilot project for setting up skill training centres in these three madarsas and conduct skill development/upgradation of training for minorities.
(Published 31 August 2015, 14:02 IST)

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