War of words over funds for 'kabristan'

War of words over funds for 'kabristan'

Was there any discrimination in the allocation of funds for graveyards and cremation grounds in Uttar Pradesh, as made out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his rallies?

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has rejected Modi’s allegation that his government favoured one religion over another. “While we are talking of development, BJP leaders are engaged in graveyards and crematoriums,” he said.

Backing Modi, Uttar Pradesh BJP leaders claimed that the people know the truth, pointing to the controversy over the issue since 2012. Prior to the 2012 elections, the SP had promised in its manifesto a special package to build boundary walls around ‘kabristans’ (burial grounds) to guard against encroachment, which was a big problem in the state.

Accordingly, after the party came to power, the Akhilesh Yadav government kept its promise. In the first Cabinet meeting on March 15, 2012, the chief minister decided to give effect to the proposal. The state government announced an allocation of Rs 200 crore for constructing walls for graveyards.

It empowered district magistrates to act on proposals from the chief executive officers of the Shia and Sunni Central Wakf Boards. The scheme became a hit as requests poured in from Muslim-dominated districts such as Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Bareilly, Saharanpur,  Meerut, Rampur, Bahraich, and Ghaziabad.

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