Guj: Cong MLAs demand Madrasa board, housing for minorities

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Gandhinagar, Mar 17 (PTI) Gujarat Congress MLAs Gyasuddin Shaikh and Imran Khedawala on Wednesday put forward a host of demands, including the formation of Madrasa finance board and dedicated housing colonies for minorities.

While speaking in the Assembly on the budgetary allocations made by the BJP government for the Social Justice and Empower Department for 2021-22, Shaikh alleged that the budget for the welfare of minorities was decreasing with each passing year.

'As against Rs 104.36 crore allocated for minority welfare in the previous budget, only 71.61 crore has been sanctioned in this budget. I demand that the budget for minorities be proportionate to their population,' said Shaikh.

'Prime Minister Narendra Modi had once said that there should be a Quran in one hand and a computer in another. Thus, I urge the state government to form a Madrasa (finance) Board to disburse grants to modernise Madrasa education,' said Shaikh.

In order to avoid conflict with others, the MLA from Dariyapur seat of Ahmedabad added that affordable housing schemes for minorities should come up near areas where they are already living.

Some other demands he put forward included formation of Haj Committee, Minority Commission, development of pilgrimage places of minorities, increase in the grants to state Minority Finance Corporation and a special economic package for the upliftment of minorities in Gujarat.

Congress MLA Imran Khedawala accused the state government of merely doing lip service in the name of minority welfare.

He claimed though it was proposed that funds saved after discontinuing Haj subsidy will be used on the education of girls from the minority community, not a single rupee has been spent in the last three years.

'I demand affordable housing schemes for minorities should be brought in minority-dominated areas. I demand that pilgrimage sites like Haji Pir, Shah-E-Alam and Bhadiyad Pir should also be developed by the government,' said the MLA from Jamalpur-Khadia seat of Ahmedabad.

Just like the government distributes cereals and edible oil at affordable rates to the poor during Diwali and Janmashtami, people from minority communities should also be given cereals and edible oil during Eid, Buddha Jayanti or Mahavir Jayanti, the MLA added.

He also urged the BJP government to make necessary efforts to convince the minority communities that there is nothing to fear from CAA or NRC. PTI PJT BNM BNM