After criticism over plan to award money only to poor Muslim girls

Class X pass Muslim girls belonging to the economically weaker strata of society alone will not be given Rs.30,000 by the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh for pursuing higher education or their marriage. Now the eligible Class X pass poor girls from other minorities, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism, will also be entitled to the monetary benefit. They will be given money under a new scheme called Hamari Beti Uska Kal to be launched by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Rampur on December 10.

The Government’s turnaround follows stringent criticism by the Opposition parties, mainly the Bharatiya Janata Party, which demanded that similar benefits be given to poor girls from other communities as well. The Bahujan Samaj Party has also criticised the ruling Samajwadi Party’s “Muslim agenda” by stating that these are mere hollow promises.

The turnaround flies in the face of the promise made in the SP manifesto for the 2012 State Assembly elections. Point 13 under the sub-heading Alapsankhyankon ke hiton ka Sanrakshan (Protecting the interest of the minorities) of the manifesto states that Rs.30,000 will be given to Class X pass Muslim girls for their education, and/or marriage.

However, the issue does not find mention in the 48 page booklet which was brought out by the State Information & Public Relations Department highlighting the Government’s achievements on Mr. Yadav completing six months in office. Under the sub-head “Primary Education” it was stated that finishing touches were being given to the Rs.30,000 scheme for High School (Class X) pass poor girls belonging to all sections of society. The booklet was released in September.

On December 10, 15,000 girls from Moradabad division will be given Kanya Vidya Dhan and Hamari Beti Uska Kal cheques by the Chief Minister. Both schemes will see the award of Rs.30,000 each to the selected beneficiaries.

Rampur is the political borough of State Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development & Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan who on several occasions has been dubbed as SP’s “Muslim face”. The Rampur city MLA has not hesitated to flaunt his credentials. On Friday, the Minister sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh drawing his attention towards the problems faced by Indian Haj pilgrims.

SP sources said there is a political angle to the choice of Rampur for the launch of the new scheme. The party has declared the names of 63 candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The candidate from Rampur, represented so far by Jaya Prada who though technically still in the SP but unlikely to be repeated, has not been announced. Sources said the candidate is likely to be of Mr. Khan’s choice, with the name of his close associate being mentioned in party circles.

  • “Hamari Beti Uska Kal” entitles these girls the money to pursue higher education, marriage

  • Scheme will be launched by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Rampur on December 10