Minister for Industries and Information Technology P. K. Kunhalikutty has urged that Haj quota for Kerala Muslims should not be cut against the background of the Saudi government curtailing international quotas.
The chairman of the Central Haj Committee has also made the demand that all selected for Haj from the State this year should be allowed to join the pilgrimage.
The Industries Minister noted in a letter to the Union Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid that Saudi Arabia had cut the quotas by 20 per cent in connection with development of haram area in Makkah. This would mean that the 1.75 lakh seats allocated for India would come down by 34,000.
Most of those going for the pilgrimage through the Haj Committee were low-income groups who could not afford to use the services of private agencies. The selections for this year through drawing of lots had already been done and the majority of them belonged to the reserved category. Considering these, the quota for Kerala should not be cut, he said.