New Delhi: Apparently countering Nitish
Kumar`s allegations that the Centre was not paying attention
to the needs of minorities in poll-bound Bihar, Union Minister
Salman Khurshid has shot off a letter to the Chief Minister
claiming that a key minority scheme has suffered a "setback"
due to lack of prompt action by his government.
"District plans for minority concentrated districts
(MCD) of Bihar have already been considered in five meetings
of this ministry, but plans for only Rs 240.50 crore could be
approved even after two years of launching of the programme as
the proposals made in the district plan were not found to be
in consonance with the guidelines of Multi Sectoral
Development Plans," Khurshid said in a letter to Kumar.
The letter pointed out "the funds received by the
Bihar government from the Ministry of Minority Affairs in
February, 2009 were released by the state government to the
Minority Concentrated Districts after eight months.
"The ministry is yet to receive utilisation
certificates and proposals for release of second instalment
for the projects sanctioned under MsDP.......these have given
a set back to the implementation of the programme."
The move comes days after Kumar blamed Congress for
the plight of the minority community of the country and
alleged that the Centre had rejected the state government`s
proposal for central grants for improving educational
infrastructure in Muslim dominated Kishanganj district of
Reacting sharply to it, the state unit of Congress had
immediately challenged Kumar to participate in a public debate
with the party on central assistance in the state.