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Mayawati plays yet another Muslim card

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 14:25

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has shot off another letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to draw his attention to the central government withholding of funds earmarked for the welfare of minorities, particularly Muslims, and OBCs.

The letter dated Nov 24 was released to media here Wednesday.

"I have always been committed to the cause of Muslims and way back in 1995 when I formed my first government, I had ordered reservation in all state government jobs for as many as 38 Muslim castes and sub-castes, under the category of OBCs," Mayawati pointed out.

She added that she has now set up a new university in Lucknow named after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder Kanshiram for promotion of Urdu, Arabic and Persian languages.

"Besides, I have also instituted a scholarship of Rs.25,000 together with a bicycle to all Muslim girls pursuing the course of `Alim` (intermediate)," she said.

Mayawati has also sought to draw the prime minister`s attention to the long-pending issue of recognition of Islamic educational institutions under the category of "minority" institutions.

A bill in this regard was duly approved by the state assembly but was still pending with the central government, she said.

"The central government was also sitting over a grant of Rs.381 crore earmarked for `Multi-Sectoral Development Plan`, against which the state had already released the statutory matching grant of Rs.97 crore," Mayawati`s letter pointed out.

Referring to yet another provision for upliftment of Muslims and the most downtrodden among OBCs, she stated: "As against the central government`s assured funding of Rs.5,286 crore for scholarships to Muslims and Most Backward Castes (MBCs), the state government had received only Rs.346 crore while the remaining grant of Rs.3,372 crore was still held back by the centre."

In an appeal to Singh, Mayawati said: "This is to request you to kindly accord due importance to this significant issue of the welfare and upliftment of the minorities in general and Muslim community in particular."

Uttar Pradesh is set for Assembly elections in 2012.


First Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 10:28

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