New Delhi: In a bid to create awareness about its programmes for the welfare of religious minorities, the Centre will on Thursday launch its campaign 'Progress Panchayat'.
It will be launched by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (independent charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi from Haryana's Mewat, which witnessed tension following the murder of a couple and gang-rape of two members of the family allegedly by a cow protection group in August.
The launch of the outreach programme comes a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for the empowerment of Muslims.
The BJP-led NDA government will inform people about developmental activities in social, educational, health and infrastructural sectors and their employment.
The ministry will also seek suggestions from locals on improving its programmes and functioning, Naqvi said.
Naqvi attributed the "sense of fear and misconceptions" among minorities about the NDA government to "disinformation campaigns" launched by its political opponents and said the panchayat will help remove those too.
"This (misconception) has been created by our political opponents who never talked about the development of minorities," the Union minister said.
He asserted the outreach programme was not aimed at securing votes but implementing government's developmental agenda.
"Earlier, people from minority communities were cheated by merchants of votes. Now, there will be no such business of votes, but an agenda of development to ensure the welfare of the communities," Naqvi claimed.
Besides holding the panchayat, he will also inaugurate a 100-bed hostel building for girls at Hathni in Palwal and staff quarters at schools in Nuh and Nagina. He will also lay the founding stone for a model school in Chilwali.
The Union minister will take part in a similar programme at Tijara in Rajasthan's Alwar district on October 3 and is expected to attend a total of 100 such Panchayats in areas which have a significant presence of minorities across the country.
(With PTI inputs)