Jaiswal told the gathering that the Union government had made several policies and programmes for the welfare of minorities, but due to lack of awareness and following the corruption and slackness on the part of its implementing agencies, the benefits never reached the minorities. He criticized the Uttar Pradesh state government for labelling the ambulances that were bought under the NRHM programmes as “Samajwadi ambulance sewa.”
He praised Maulana M Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi for his herculean and sustained efforts in order to make the minorities aware of their rights, and to inform them about the welfare programmes that are being launched by the Union government from time to time.
Earlier while delivering his key note address to the members of minority community who converged at the venue, Maulana M Fazlur Rahim Mujaddidi put his points with the help of a power point presentation. He revealed several of the hurdles that were coming in way of implementing the programmes for minorities. He wanted the government to open schools for their girls in pockets which were dominated by Muslims instead of opening schools which are quite far away from the place of their residence.
After seeing the success of the programme it seems the Congress has set in motion its “Brahmos” for the grand finale of 2014 Lok Sabha elections by organizing a Minority Welfare Programme through its Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee’s (UPCC) “Minority Welfare Programme Monitoring Task Force”, Arshad Azmi.
The programme organized by SEE, an NGO from Delhi, had several important members of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) present on the occasion including former UPCC president Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi, MLA Lucknow Cant, the UPCC Chief, Nirmal Khatri, MP, Zafar Ali Naqvi. The young turks, who were present on the occasion include Naseem Khan, Dr Neeraj Bora, Saif Naqvi, Ajit Chak, Tariq Siddiqui and Hilal Ahmad.
The choice of programme convenor Arshad Azmi could not have been better to disseminate the message on minority welfare programmes and schemes, as Azmi being a former Gen Secy of the All India Muslim Forum (AIMF), a party founded by firebrand Union Leader Nehaluddin Ahmad, is known for his ability as a Muslim crowd puller.
During Nehaluddin’s tenure in India when he led the AIMF the party even had a minister in Assam and following its merger in 2008 with the Congress as the Peoples Democratic Forum the AIMF/PDF members have retained much of their character even inside the Congress.
The aim of the minorities welfare programme is to link it with the ‘Cash Transfer Scheme’ and the ‘Aadhar Card Scheme’ which will permit needy persons from all walks of life to open a ‘Zero Balance’ bank account through which funds meant for minorities will be transferred to the needy.
Minority education funds exist yet members of the minorities pay school fees through these schemes. They will become aware of it and can ask for reimbursement of fees. The money will be transferred into their bank accounts.
Amar Habibullah, son of the Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, is in-charge of the banking correspondents who have been given targets to open zero balance bank accounts for the needy under the Cash Transfer Scheme. All Nationalised Banks have been given targets in this regard, says Ugrasen Prasad Dubey, the AGS of the Indian Overseas Bank Staff Union.
Once the Cash Transfer Scheme and the Minorities Welfare Programme are in place they will work like a pincer movement on the minority vote bank in the 2014 elections.
“The minorities are not too happy with the Samajwadi Party right now and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has its regional limitations,” says a Congress leader. However, if the scheme does not link up properly with the Cash Transfer Scheme for minorities as they also need to obtain Aadhar cards and open bank accounts, then KAPUT. Otherwise the move could well turn out into a guided missile on which the Congress will ride back to power.
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