Having been unable to meet Narendra Modi on several previous occasions, National Commission for Minorities Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah said he hopes to discuss with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi the rehabilitation of 2002 riot victims among other issues.
“I had earlier tried to meet Modi but could not due to certain reasons. I am again renewing my efforts to meet him. I hope to meet him soon”, said Mr. Habibullah.
Mr. Habibullah said the issues he wants to raise with Mr. Modi include rehabilitation of 2002 riot victims, scholarships for minority students and problems faced by Parsi and Sikh communities in Gujarat.
He said Gujarat government’s objection to the central pre-matriculation scholarship scheme for students of minority communities is an important issue that he wants to discuss with Mr. Modi.
Gujarat refused to implement the scheme provided by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs by calling it discriminatory.
The state government had argued that the scheme is based on religion and the Centre cannot compel the state to implement it and that a similar scheme was in place in the state for all poor students irrespective of their religion.
The matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
“We would also raise inclusion of Parsi community in the minority list and the concerns of Sikh farmers of Gujarat with the Chief Minister”, he said.
He, however, refused to comment on reports regarding Gujarat government plans to come up with a scheme for repairing the mosques damaged during the 2002 riots.
On opening the mosques under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for offering prayers, he said: “We have raised it with the Ministry of Culture and the ASI. ASI had to conduct a survey of such mosques. They are yet to release the report.”