Khurshid hopeful of SC relief on minorities’ quota
Mumbai: Union Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday expressed hope that the Supreme Court would uphold the Centre`s decision to provide 4.5 per cent reservation in education and government jobs to backward classes among minorities.
"The matter is before the constitutional bench and we hope that the decision would get legal clearance soon. The decision of the Centre was just and legal," Khurshid, the Union External Affairs minister, said while addressing a seminar `Seven years after Sachar`.
The Sachar committee highlighted the social, economic and educational status of Indian Muslims.
Khurshid said there were 14 per cent minorities of which nine per cent belonged to backward classes.
Speaking about the demand for increasing the Haj quota, Khurshid said the Saudi government has reduced its own quota by 50 per cent and other countries by 20 per cent.
The Central Haj Committee would take a decision on whether to reduce the number of pilgrims from the private tour operators or Haj committee, he said.
"Next year, we will persuade the Saudi government to increase the Haj quota as per the population," the minister said.
Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, who was also present on the occasion, said states are answerable and accountable to the Commission for inclusive growth.
Meanwhile, Khurshid said that the upcoming visit of the US Secretary of State John Kerry would help in further strengthening of the US-India ties.
"I am confident that the visit would be successful and we will be able to further strengthen the co-operation between the two countries which started after the civil nuclear deal agreement," Khurshid said.
Kerry is scheduled to arrive later on Sunday.
When asked about BJP president Rajnath Singh`s appeal to the Muslim community to "forget or ignore", in a veiled reference to Godhra riots, Khurshid said, "it is true that Muslims should forget and start afresh. But, there should be acceptance from the other side that the mistake was committed".
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