Special Correspondent

Says it will prevent communal forces from gaining power

CHENNAI: Secular parties in the country should form a pre-poll alliance at the national level to prevent communal forces from gaining power in the country, said G.M. Banathwala, president of the Indian Union Muslim League, here on Saturday.

At present political parties were forging a front after the elections. Instead the front should be formed before the elections, he suggested while participating in the diamond jubilee celebrations of the State unit of the party.

Asserting that privileges being offered to the minorities were not charity or appeasement of minorities but their right, Mr. Banathwala said the nation could progress only if there was balanced development of all sections of society.

The IUML president appealed to the Congress and the Left Parties to find a solution to the Indo-US nuclear deal to the satisfaction of all.

Union Minister of State for Programme Implementation G. K. Vasan said the interests of minorities were always safe in the hands of the Congress party. For the first time a separate Ministry for Minorities was formed at the Centre, which had allotted Rs 200 crore for their welfare. It had selected 90 minorities-dominated districts in the country and sanctioned Rs. 540 crore for their development. His party would not hesitate to launch agitations to protect the minority communities, he added.

Dravida Kazhagam president K. Veeramani said it was duty of the minorities in the State to support the DMK government which had been implementing many schemes for them.

Thol. Tirumavalavan of Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi appealed to the State government to institute an award in the name of Quaid-e-Milleth. The Chief Minister should take steps to provide reservation for Muslims in education and employment at the national level.

Presiding over the conference, K.M. Khader Mohideen, State president, urged the government to release innocent Muslims who had been languishing in various jails in the State.

Earlier, the conference adopted resolutions demanding immediate implementation of Sachar Committee recommendations, 10 per cent reservation in education and employment for Muslims and early implementation of Sethusamudram project.

The Bharatiya Janata Party with a “sinister motive” of indulging in a political conspiracy of imposing “Hindutva” in the country was insisting on Uniform Civil Code. The party would collect 10 crore signatures at the national level and one crore at the State level in this connection and submit to the Central government.

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