Aligarh: Congress on Thursday came under strong criticism from two forums for Muslim intellectuals here after none of its central ministers turned up for a seminar organised by the latter last week in New Delhi.
In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the organisers said that the party was moving away from its "core ideology of secularism" and taking the Muslim community for granted.
More than half-a-dozen Union ministers were expected to attend the seminar, `UPA-II and Muslim Expectations`, jointly organised by the Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis and the Millat Bedari Muhim Committee at India Islamic Centre in New Delhi.
Congress was showing "scant regard for its commitments made to the community during the last parliamentary elections" and was taking Muslim votes for granted, said the organisers, who mainly comprise Muslim academics and former faculty members of Aligarh Muslim University.
They also warned Congress that if it did not respond to the genuine demands of the weaker sections, especially Muslims, they would be forced to "look at other options".
Union Minister for Minority Affairs, K Rahman Khan, was awarded the Aligarh Movement Award for the year 2012 as part of the seminar.
Among the UPA ministers expected to attend the seminar were Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of State for Health Abu Hasem Khan Choudhary, Ministers of State for HRD Jitin Prasada and Shashi Tharoor and Minister of State for Road and Transport, Oscar Fernandez.