Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday set in motion the process for selection of pilgrims for Haj pilgrimage with a plea to those visiting the holy shrine to pray for the welfare of the state.
"People say it brings good things when you meet people who go for Haj yatra. I request you to get the blessings of the Almighty Allah for Karnataka", Gowda told the gathering that had converged for selection of pilgrims for Haj this year.
He said 15,476 applications have been received which included 7,000 from women. A total of 785 applicants are 70 years and above and 406 applicants were aspiring for fourth Haj pilgrimage.
Gowda, who promised a transparent selection process, sought to remind the Haj pilgrims that the state`s quota was limited to 4142 persons.
Gowda said the government has earmarked Rs 406 crore for the welfare of minorities and has set a target of spending Rs 100 crore on education, including providing scholarship to 5.25 lakh students.
"BJP is not against Muslims. Muslims are dear to its heart", he said seeking to drum up support from the community ahead of next year`s assembly elections.
The Haj Ghar under construction in the city for benefit of pilgrims was expected to be completed by this year end, he said.