The opposition by some members of the Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) for the setting up of a Central University near Mysore was not because of the issue of land acquisition but because it will be named after Tipu Sultan, said Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan here on Wednesday.
Reacting to the statements made by BJP MLC G. Madhusudan, who opposed the sanctioning of land for the university, the Union Minister told presspersons: “When we were in the Opposition, we did not have problems with the institutions named by them. Why are they reacting like this now? The idea for the university was floated four years ago, and the university is meant to serve all communities, not just one community.”
Meeting party workers earlier in the day, G. Parameshwar, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president, condemned the MLC’s statements. “The Central Government has approved the setting up of the university. The approval or rejection of the State government hardly matters. The life and achievements of Tipu Sultan, who was a great warrior and secular in outlook, have been wrongly interpreted by the BJP,” said the Congress chief.
Addressing party workers at the district Congress office, Mr. Khan said the Ministry had identified Gulbarga and Bidar as the two districts with high concentration of persons belonging to minority communities – that is, greater than 25 per cent – and had allocated Rs. 40 crore for minority-related development works there.
A total of 90 such districts had been identified across the country, and the Ministry would manage the implementation of the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme in these districts. “About 15 per cent of the funds for government welfare schemes – including scholarships, hospitals, and Indira Awaas Yojana, among others – would be allocated exclusively to persons belonging to minority communities in these districts,” he said.
The Ministry would extend the survey to identify minority-concentrated areas to the block-level, and the number of blocks could be around 700, said Mr. Khan.
The Minister visited Old Port, Bunder, where he elaborated on the Central schemes for fishermen belonging to minorities, and said he would ask both State and National Minority Development Corporations to look into problems of fishermen.