Debating India


With eye on polls, Mulayam woos Muslims

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister announces several sops for strengthening madarsa education

LUCKNOW: Playing the Muslim card, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday hit out at the Congress for opposing his Government which had launched several welfare schemes for the Muslims and said that by working against the Samajwadi Party the Congress was trying to strengthen the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Assembly elections are due in the State next year.

Asking the Muslims to remain vigilant against the Congress "game plan", Mr. Yadav cautioned the minority community that the BJP would gain if the Samajwadi Party was weakened.

Addressing a minority education conference on the occasion of Minorities Rights Day, the Chief Minister announced several sops for strengthening madarsa education in the State which included Government aid for 100 madarsas up to Alia level. He sanctioned Rs. 2 crore for the new office building of Arabi Farsi Madarsa Board and gave the nod to 34 new posts in the UP Madarsa Education Board.

The Chief Minister also announced upgrading of 160 madarsas and extended the Mid-day Meal Scheme for students up to Tautaniya level in Government-aided madarsas.

Mr. Yadav waxed eloquent over the steps taken by the Samajwadi Party Government for social and educational uplift of the minority community and accused the Congress of extending only lip sympathy to the Muslims despite ruling the country for a long time.

He also accused the Congress of conspiring against his Government and said with a hint of sarcasm that even if his Government was dismissed what gain would accrue to the Congress.

"With 14 MLAs the Congress would never have been able to form the government. The same applied to the Rashtriya Lok Dal, the BJP and the BSP which had 15, 83 and 67 MLAs, respectively, in the Assembly," the Chief Minister remarked.

Extolling the virtues of Muslims and the contribution made by them, Mr. Yadav said eyeing the Muslims with tinted glasses and casting doubts on their integrity was ingrained in the Congress psyche whereas the Samajwadi Party believed in extending help to them.

He said: "For five days the Congress sat on the proposal to make A. P. J. Abdul Kalam the President of India".

Muslims in police force

He said under his regime the percentage of Muslims in the State police and PAC had gone up to 14 per cent which was the maximum representation give by any State in the country.

In his first stint as Chief Minister in the early 1990s, he added, he had to issue stern directives to the officers responsible for scuttling the process of Muslim recruitment in police forces on flimsy grounds like the Muslims did not measure up to physical standards. "Their representation shot up to 11 per cent", he added.

Stating that only two per cent Muslims were in the Indian Army but 14 per cent of Kargil martyrs belonged to the minority community, Mr. Yadav dared those who dubbed madarsas as centres of ISI activity to make public how many Muslims had been arrested for spying for the Pakistani intelligence agency.

The conference was organised by the All India Tahaffuz Madaris Council.

See online : The Hindu

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