Patna: The Bihar Assembly on Friday witnessed a debate on the condition of Muslims in the state, with Opposition BJP accusing Nitish Kumar government of indulging in vote bank politics, a charge it refuted saying there has been a positive change in the minority community`s socio-economic status.
An hour long special debate on the topic was proposed by RJD Legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.
The BJP, Congress, RJD, Independents and ruling JD(U) members spoke on the subject on party lines while Minority Affairs Minister Shahid Ali Khan rubbished the charges made by the Opposition in his reply to the House.
The debate witnessed walkout by RJD and BJP members dissatisfied with the Minister`s reply.
Initiating the debate, Siddiqui said that condition of Muslims was even worse than that of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes as their development was ignored under Congress and now under the regime of Nitish Kumar.
He urged the state government to provide reservation to Muslims to uplift their condition.
Leader of Opposition Nand Kishore Yadav charged the Nitish Kumar government as well Congress and RJD with indulging in vote bank politics.
"A fear is being created in the mind of Muslims in the name of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi by citing 2002 riot but the fact is that there are maximum number of Muslims in the state government in Gujarat besides (those with) highest per capita income," senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav said.
These facts have been highlighted by the Sachar committee report and other recommendations.
The BJP leader charged the Nitish Kumar government with unimpressive implementation of schemes of constructing hostels for Muslims and operation of MSDP programme of the Centre.
Congress member Ijhar Ahmad also alleged improper implementation of central government welfare programmes for Muslims in Bihar.
The lone CPI member Awdesh Roy and Independent Dulal Chand Goswami also spoke on the topic.
Replying to the special debate, the Minister credited Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for fencing of burial grounds and introducing computers in the madarsas.
He said the JD(U) government reopened 29 cases related to 1991 Bhagalpur riots and facilitated charge sheet of accused in 26 such cases. The minister said the state government recently increased pension for Bhagalpur riot victims from Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000.
Muslim students have also been benefited by scholarship scheme and through different welfare programmes.