Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday requested the Centre to enhance the Haj quota for Tamil Nadu this year as the state has received a huge number of applications from pilgrims and many were left disappointed.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said the Tamil Nadu State Hajj Committee has received 13,159 applications from pilgrims for Hajj 2014. The Haj committee of India, Mumbai, based on the Muslim population, had allotted a quota of only 2,672 seats to the state, she said.
As per the guidelines for Hajj 2014, 1,180 out of the 2,672 seats have been utilized for reserved category pilgrims and the remaining under the general category.
"Subsequently, only 100 more seats have been allotted by the Haj Committee of India, leaving a large number of applicants disappointed", she said in her letter.
Recalling that the Centre had earlier released additional seats over and above the quota, enabling more pilgrims from Tamil Nadu to perform Hajj, she said 3,696 pilgrims from the state performed Hajj last year and "there is a great expectation among pilgrims who have applied for Haj 2014 and are anxiously awaiting confirmation of their pilgrimage".
"I therefore request your kind intervention for enhancement of the Haj quota for Tamil Nadu, taking into account the huge number of applications received for Haj 2014", she said.
She also requested the Centre to advise the External Affairs Ministry to release an additional quota for Tamil Nadu, so that a greater number of pilgrims can perform Haj during 2014.