Sat. Jan 25th, 2020

Uttam promises equal opportunities for minorities

Hyderabad, November 27: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress-led People’s Front, if voted to power in next elections, would allocate a budget of Rs. 24,000 crore for the welfare of minorities through a Sub-Plan.

Addressing a Meet the Press programme jointly organised by Telangana Urdu Working Journalist Federation (TUWJF) and Indian News Network (INN) here on Tuesday, Uttam Kumar Reddy spoke at length on various issues concerning Muslim community in Telangana and promised that the next government of People’s Front would take all measures for the welfare, security and prosperity of minorities in the State. He accused Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao of cheating the Muslim community on the promise of 12% quota. “KCR should have apologised for his failure to implement 12% quota before approaching the Muslims seeking their votes. Instead, he stopped talking about the issue. He has no right to seek votes from Muslim community,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government had promised to grant judicial powers to Wakf Board. It also promised to take back encroached Wakf land within six months. “Not even four-and-a-half yards of encroached Wakf land has been resorted during the last four-and-a-half years,” he said. The Central Wakf Council, in its latest report on April 23, 2018, has made some shocking revelations and recommended a CBI enquiry into the Wakf Scam. Why TRS Govt is silent on this report? He asked.

The TPCC chief said that Urdu language remained in a state of neglect in the Telangana State. “KCR appointed Urdu Academy chairman on September 5, 2018, just one day before the Assembly was dissolved. Is it not a joke with Urdu speaking people. The Academy was also deprived of funds. The institutions and schemes being run by the Academy are in extremely bad shape. No steps were taken for implementation of Urdu as second official language. The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) did not release a single press release in Urdu language during the last four years. State Government did not fill vacancies of Urdu teachers, translators and other related jobs. Urdu institutions have been deprived of funds,” he alleged.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government did not utilise the funds allocated for minorities welfare. “Not even 50% of allocated funds were spent. As against the total allocations of Rs. 6,593 crore, the actual spending was just Rs. 3,114.41 Crore or 47.23%. In overall allocations of nearly Rs. 6.75 lakh crore in the last five budgets, only Rs. 6,593 Crore were allocated from 2014-15 to 2018-19 for minorities’ welfare, which is just 0.97% (not even 1%) of the total budget. Further, of these allocations, just Rs. 3,114.41 crore or 0.46% amount has been actually spent. Spending just 0.46% of total budget for minorities who constitutes nearly 15% of total population was too little and a matter of shame for KCR,” he said.

The TPCC Chief said that despite making confession on the floor of Assembly by the Chief Minister himself of shortage of staff in the Minorities Welfare Department, no steps were taken to fill those vacancies. Lakhs of students suffered due to non-release of Scholarships and Fee Reimbursement dues. Almost 90% of minorities institutions were closed under TRS regime as their Fee Reimbursement dues were not cleared. TRS Government has remained a mute spectator to the reduction in funds for Minorities’ Welfare by the Central Government. KCR never spoke to Prime Minister Narender Modi or with the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs in this regard, he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy pointed out that of 153,906 applications received under loan-cum-subsidy scheme, only 14,544 were approved and only 8,000 were sanctioned. But none of the beneficiaries got any funds. No fresh applications were accepted since 2015-16. He said this attitude of TRS Government intensified the problem of unemployment among minorities.

He said that the TRS Government did not implement any of the recommendations of Sudhir Commission which included appointment of an “Equal Opportunity Commission” (EOC) to oversee recruitment and training and other developmental programmes. Other promises like filling up of Urdu teachers posts; Implementation of Urdu as second official language; Sub-Plan for Muslims; Collateral free business loans for small entrepreneurs; Scholarships for Muslim students; Recognition of Madarsa education by setting up a Madarsa Board; Extension of SETWIN to all districts; Allotment of 12% industrial plots to Muslims through TSIIC and 20% quota in Urban and 10% quota in Rural areas for Muslims in weaker section housing were not implemented.

Uttam Kumar Reddy slammed MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi for their silence on the failure of TRS Government on all fronts. “Five Muslim undertrials Viquar Ahmed, Syed Amjed, Mohd. Zakir, Mohd. Haneef and Izhar Khan were killed in encounter at Alair in Nalgonda district on April 7, 2015. Viqar and Dr Haneef hailed from Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency. Asaduddin Owaisi or Akbaruddin Owaisi did not visit their home. They did not participate in Namaz-e-Janaza or Tadfeen. About 40 public meetings were held when Akbar Owaisi was attacked. But MIM did not hold a single meeting on its banner when 5 Muslim youth were killed in an alleged encounter. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to probe into the encounter. Where is the report? People want to know the truth of Alair encounter. Why Owaisi is not questioning TRS on the issue?” he asked.

Similarly, Uttam Kumar Reddy questioned the silence of TRS and MIM on the xustodial death of poor Muslim rickshaw puller 28-year-old Sajid of Nagaram in Nizamabad. Sajid was allegedy tortured and killed in police custody at Town-I Police Station of Nizamabad on March 21, 2015. TRS Govt took no action and even tried to hush up the case. MIM never raised this issue in the last four years, he asked. Like MIM remained silenct when Raheema Bee, a 40-year-old widow, attempted suicide in the premises of Doma Police Station in Viqarabad mandal of Ranga Reddy district. She attempted suicide on March 29, 2015, and died on April 3, 2015. Despite orders of State Human Rights Commission, the State Government took no action against local policemen who were harassing her.

Uttam Kumar Reddy reminded that on April 16, 2018, KCR had announced a Rs. 1,000 crore package for Old City. “Where has it gone? KCR had also promised that Old City will be developed like Istanbul. Not even 1% of these promises have been fulfilled,” he said.

The TPCC Chief said that the Congress party, if voted to power, would introduce a Sub-Plan for minorities wherein 12% of State budget would be allocated for their welfare. Therefore, in the Telangana’s budget of Rs. 2 lakh crore, about Rs. 24,000 crore will be earmarked for minorities welfare in the Sub-Plan. He also promised that all recommendations of Sachar Committee and Sudhir Commission would be implemented. He said Wakf Board would be given judicial powers and steps would be taken to tackle unemployment among minorities youth. He said Metro Rail in the Old City would become a reality after Congress comes to power.

When asked whether the Congress would seek MIM’s support, if required, to form the next government, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the People’s Front of Congress, TDP, TJS and CPI would get absolute majority and no outside support would be required. He said that the Congress party would win at least three seats in the Old City.

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