Hyderabad

BJP, Congress indulging in majority appeasement, says Asaduddin

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Demands removal of allocation of government subsidy for Hindu pilgrimages

Reacting to the Centre’s decision to remove Haj subsidy, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday charged the PM Modi-led government with appeasing the majority community and challenged the BJP to walk the talk by using the pilgrimage funds for education of Muslim women.

Addressing the media, Mr. Owaisi said that the subsidy benefits Air India, which is a loss making entity, and listed 10 instances in which the Centre and States have allocated funds for various Hindu programmes and pilgrimages.

Payments to Devaswoms

Stating that he has been demanding Haj subsidy removal since 2006, Mr. Owaisi challenged the BJP to bring about a constitutional amendment to Article 290-A which provides an annual payment to Devaswoms.

“I want to ask the BJP and RSS that the Yogi government (in UP) gave ₹ 800 crore for pilgrimage to Kashi, Ayodhya and Mathura in the name of Pilgrimage, Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive. Is this not appeasement?” he said even as he pointed out that the Khattar government in Haryana gave ₹ 1 crore to the Dera Sacha Sauda.

The Hyderabad parliamentarian also pointed out that the States of Gujarat and Rajasthan had allocated large amounts for temple renovation and training of Hindu priests and were paying their salaries. He also pointed out that Centre had earmarked ₹1,150 crore for the Mahakumbh in 2014.

Bringing the Congress into its cross-hairs, Mr. Owaisi said: “In 2015, the Karnataka government said it would give ₹ 20,000 to Chardham yatra. Will the Congress stop this?” Mr. Owaisi reiterated his demand of making pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarships for Muslims demand driven. “There is no reason to make such a show for a mere ₹ 200 crore. This order (of phasing out Haj subsidy) came in 2012,” he said.

Open tenders

Leader of opposition in the Legislative Council Mohammad Ali Shabbir said pressed the government to call for open tenders instead of awarding the contract to fly pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to Air India. “The BJP gives money from Haj subsidy to the loss making Air India and then term it as appeasement. But Haj is mandatory only on those who can afford it. However, the government should ensure that pilgrims are given all facilities like healthcare in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:41:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/bjp-congress-indulging-in-majority-appeasement-says-asaduddin/article22451996.ece

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