Do not take minorities for granted: Sharad Pawar

In an apparent dig at ally Congress, NCP chief and Union Minister Sharad Pawar today warned "secular" parties against taking minorities for granted in the belief that they have no alternative but to support them.

Updated: Jun 03, 2010, 18:11 PM IST

New Delhi: In an apparent dig at ally
Congress, NCP chief and Union Minister Sharad Pawar today
warned "secular" parties against taking minorities for granted
in the belief that they have no alternative but to support
them.

"Minority welfare is a long drawn process, but at least
we should make a beginning. NCP is working in that direction.
Some big parties -- we do not claim we are a big party with
150 years of experience -- tend to take the minorities for
granted," Pawar, who holds the Agriculture portfolio in the
Union Cabinet, said at an NCP function here.

He said there was a tendency among secular parties to
take minorities for granted thinking that they would not
favour outfits like the RSS and the BJP.

"But if such attitude gains ground among secular parties
it leads to ignoring the genuine problems of minorities. This
approach is wrong and if it persists, the concerned community
will also say if we are going to hell let us also take the
political party with us as well," Pawar said.

He underlined the initiatives taken by the government to
make education and housing more accessible to the minorities
but stressed that the policies should be implemented properly.

"We should not say that our job is done merely by
sanctioning money to state governments. We have to ensure that
it is utilised for the purpose it has been granted for," Pawar
said.

Pawar claimed that Maharashtra Government, in which NCP
is a coalition partner, has moved a proposal providing
reservation for minorities in the housing sector.

PTI