Minister for Minorities Welfare, Haj & Wakfs Department Qamar-ul Islam on Thursday said that his department had made a proposal to decentralise the process of Haj pilgrimage by building Haj Bhavans near airports in Hubli and Gulbarga so that people from north Karnataka need not come all the way to the Haj Bhavan in Bangalore for embarking on their pilgrimage.

“It will be convenient for people from north Karnataka to commence their Haj pilgrimage from Hubli or Gulbarga rather than in Bangalore. In fact, people from the border districts in the neighbouring States of Goa and Andhra Pradesh too can go on their pilgrimage from Hubli and Gulbarga, respectively, he said.

He also suggested that these neighbouring States could be convinced to share the cost of building Haj houses in these cities.

‘Report is motivated’

Mr. Qamar-ul Islam, who has been accused of misappropriating Wakfs wealth in the report by the Minorities Commission chairman Anwar Manpadi, termed the report as politically motivated. “It is a report prepared by only the commission chairman and the (commission) secretary purely for political vendetta,” he said and accused Mr. Manpadi, a BJP leader, of misusing his position for politically tarnishing political opponents.

‘Baseless charges’

When his attention was drawn to the serious charges of misusing Wakfs property levelled by the commission against several minorities leaders, he said: “Anybody can level charges against anybody. What is important is that such charges should have been supported by some evidence. But in this case, the charges in the report are baseless,” he said.

Mr. Qamar-ul Islam, who also holds the Public Enterprises portfolio, said that he wanted to turn at least five sick public sector units into profit-making organisations. Now, 37 of the 59 PSUs in the State were making profits, he pointed out.

Qamar-ul Islam says people from the region need not come to Bangalore for their pilgrimage

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