MP Home Minister slams Owaisi for comparing Haj subsidy with government's expenditure on Kumbh Mela
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh has questioned AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi's comparison of Haj subsidy given to Muslims with the government's expenditure on the Kumbh Mela.
"The two cannot be compared. The Kumbh Mela is organised in India and is part of the Indian culture for centuries. There is a lot of significance of the Kumbh Mela for Hindus. During the last Ujjain Kumbh, over 9 crore people took the holy dip in the Shipra river in Ujjain," Singh said in Bhopal on Wednesday.
He further added that it's government's duty to provide people of the country with basic facilities at religious events.
"So if people of the country congregate at a religious event at a particular place, it is the duty of the government to provide them basic facilities. And it is not just the Kumbh, the government makes such arrangements for the Ijtema of Muslims as well. We send Muslim pilgrims to Ajmer and organise free trains for them," he added.
He further added, "The government will use the money spent on Haj subsidy for the education of the girl child from the Muslim community."
Owaisi on Tuesday had attacked the BJP for calling the Haj subsidy a form of Muslim appeasement.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday while announcing withdrawal of the Haj subsidy given to Muslims had said that the government's decision was in line with the commitment to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement
Though no one from amongst the Muslims in Madhya Pradesh has openly come out against the government's decision to withdraw the Haj subsidy, people from the community in subdued voices are raising questions over the money spent by the Shivraj Singh government in organising the free Char Dham Yatras for Hindus.
The opposition Congress party in Madhya Pradesh has so far stayed away from making any kind of comment on the government's decision fearing a majority consolidation in an election year.
"Questioning the government's decision in any form can easily be twisted and interpreted as an anti-Hindu stance by paid trolls, so it's better to stay quiet," a top Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.