Qureshi case: Minister Khader defends Cong's neutral stand

With just a week left for a mammoth convention planned by United Muslim Front demanding justice for Ahmed Qureshi, a victim of alleged police atrocity, on May 2 at Nehru Maidan here, Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader on Monday defended the neutral stand of Congress as the  CID is probing the case.

Reacting to media queries in this regard, Khader said the party is not opposed to any conventions for fostering bonds and unity in the society. But the party is equally opposed to any conventions being organised on behalf of anti-social elements. In the case of Qureshi, a rather complicated issue, the CID sleuths are already probing into the issue. Moreover, the probe into his criminal antecedents, if any or his involvement in the attempt to murder case of Prakash Poojary, is on. If the innocents are troubled, action will be initiated, he added.

On the involvement of former mayor K Ashraf, a Congress leader in organising the convention under the banner of the front, Khader shrugged it off as an addition to the list of many such organisations which ceased soon after its formation in no time, in the past.

To another query on Ashraf quitting the party again, this time for joining Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Khader said, “I would rack my brain only if a party worker in my constituency quits the
organisation, but not any leader.”

The party higher-ups are also seized of the developments and have sought a report from Dakshina Kannada District Congress committee in this regard, he said.

Denied
On the much touted political development in his family, with his brother Dr U T Iftiqar set to join BJP, Khader denied any such development.

Moreover, there is no question of joining any other party other than Congress, as the family is indebted to the organisation by giving ticket to contest elections for subsequent terms.

Khader said “If such situation arises, we will stay aloof from politics, but will not join any other party.”

New software
Khader said the Food and Civil Supplies Department will add a new software to speed up verification of new applications received for below poverty line (BPL) ration cards.

Khader told media persons, the new software expected to be launched from May 3, will further simplify the existing process for the benefit of 10 lakh applicants. In the existing system, the new applications will be routed through Revenue Department to other departments for verification.

In the meantime, the applicants had to face agonising moments thus delaying the benefits.

‘PDOs responsible’
Saying that there were also complaints of delays at Gram Panchayat level in receiving the applications, Khader said the authorities at Panchayats have been warned against it.

In case of any delays, the PDOs will be held responsible, he added.
 

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