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Updated: October 30, 2012 01:40 IST

Rahman Khan for review of schemes for minorities

Mohammad Ali
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K. Rahman Khan addressing the media on Monday after assuming office as Union Minister for Minority Affairs in New Delhi. Photo: V.V. Krishnan.
K. Rahman Khan addressing the media on Monday after assuming office as Union Minister for Minority Affairs in New Delhi. Photo: V.V. Krishnan.

Muslims need to wake up to their educational, infrastructure needs

The new Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan took charge on Monday with a call to Muslims to come forward and take the initiative on their own without being too much dependent on the government. Indicating a shift from his predecessor Salman Khurshid times, Mr. Khan talked about need for reviewing the schemes for minorities. “Lots of complaints have been received regarding the failure of the minorities-run programmes in reaching the beneficiaries. The time has come to review the programmes,” Mr. Khan told journalists after taking charge along with Ninong Ering, Minister of State. He said Muslims need to wake up to their educational and infrastructure needs. “Why are Muslims sleeping on education? The Ministry will motivate members of the minority community to come forward and join hands for the uplift of the community to establish more universities,” said the 73-year-old Congress leader from Karnataka. He would explore the possibility of the public-private partnership model in development of infrastructure.

On the arrest of Muslim youths in the name of terrorism, he said as the matter was related to the country’s security, he would not like to comment except that “innocents should not be arrested in the name of fighting terror.”

Leaders of the Muslim community, on the other hand, have high hopes from Mr. Khan, highlighting that the Ministry needs to broaden its focus from only providing scholarships to larger issues like getting the recommendations of the Ranganath Misra Commission and the Sachar Committee, including reservation to Muslims and EOC, implemented. Some leaders alleged that under Mr. Khurshid, the Ministry lost touch with the community. Later in the evening, Mr. Khan denied allegations of corruption against him, saying the charges were made to tarnish his image. The denial followed reports in this regard by a section of the media.

It was alleged that he, along with other members of the Board of Directors of the Amanath Cooperative Bank Ltd. of Bangalore siphoned off Rs.102 crore. But later he was given a clean chit. A team led by him is running the bank, which he had co-founded in 1977.

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