Muslims lagged behind due to Congress government’s negligence which ruled the country for about five decades, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Lal Jan Basha alleged on Saturday.

Addressing a meeting of minorities organised by TDP State Minority Cell president V.S. Ameer Babuhere, Mr. Basha asserted that former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu set up 33 minority engineering colleges during his rule, furthering their education. The State had only one minority engineering college in 1996 when Mr. Naidu came to power, he said.

Calling upon the party functionaries to propagate among people the failures of the Congress government, Mr. Basha maintained that the party would prove its mettle in the municipality and local body elections.

The TDP proposed three per cent reservation to minorities in its election manifesto, but the Congress promised five per cent reservations and duped them, C.M. Ramesh Naidu alleged.

TDP legislator of Hindupur Abdul Ghani said minorities remained backward as they did not pay attention to the governments being elected.

TDP would stand by the Muslims, he said and exhorted them to gain awareness by increasing their literacy rate.

TDP MLA of Proddatur M. Linga Reddy, who is the district party president, accused the Congress of viewing minorities as a vote bank.

While the TDP strived for the development of the minorities, the BJP demolished Babri Masjid, he said.

Earlier Mr. Basha and Rajya Sabha member C.M. Ramesh Naidu inaugurated the TDP Kadapa constituency office on Rajiv Marg here.

TDP State secretary S. Goverdhan Reddy, former MLC Putha Narasimha Reddy and leaders S. Subhan Basha, Redyam Venkata Subba Reddy, S. Jilani Basha, S. Harindranath and Ahmed Hussain participated.

Muslims lagging behind due to

Congress government’s negligence,

says Lal Jan Basha