Where is spe­cial Bi­har pack­age? JD(U) slams Cen­tre, cites RTI re­ply

The Indian Express - - GOVT &P - EX­PRESS NEWS SER­VICE

MI­NOR­ITY AF­FAIRS Min­is­ter Mukhtar Ab­bas Naqvi on Thurs­day said the NDA gov­ern­ment was de­ter­mined to “em­power” mi­nori­ties “with­out ap­pease­ment” in an “at­mos­phere of trust”.

The min­is­ter, in­ter­act­ing with jour­nal­ists ahead of the NDA gov­ern­ment’s third an­niver­sary, said that “fig­ures from the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Mi­nori­ties show that com­mu­nal in­ci­dents have come down by 90 per cent in the last three years. How­ever, not even one in­ci­dent of such na­ture should be con­doned, that is the view of our gov­ern­ment.” His state­ment came at a time the mi­nori­ties com­mis­sion is prac­ti­cally nonex­is­tent since Fe­bru­ary when its last mem­ber re­tired.

The Bjp-led gov­ern­ment has been ac­cused of cre­at­ing an at­mos­phere of fear among mi­nori­ties and Naqvi was on Thurs­day asked at the news con­fer­ence about cow vig­i­lan­tism. The rul­ing party, on the other hand, has ac­cused its ri­vals of prac­tis­ing the pol­i­tics of ap­pease­ment to win votes. “The steps taken by the Modigov­ern­ment­forthe­p­rogress of mi­nori­ties are a re­flec­tion of its em­pow­er­men­twith­outap­pease­ment pol­icy. It has cre­ated an at­mos­phere of devel­op­ment and trust among the mi­nori­ties,” PTI quoted Naqvi as say­ing.

The min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment has worked to up­lift the mi­nori­ties by pro­vid­ing them ed­u­ca­tion and skill-based train­ing to en­sure that they be­come ben­e­fi­cia­ries of main­stream devel­op­ment.

The min­istry has de­cided to launch a pro­gramme called Us­tad Sam­man Sa­m­agam, mark­ing the birth cen­te­nary of Sangh ide­o­logue Deen Dayal Upad­hyaya, with the aim to en­cour­age ar­ti­sans from mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties and of­fer them mar­ket ex­po­sure.

The gov­ern­ment will also launch Tehreek e Taleem on Oc­to­ber 15, he added, to com­mem­o­rate the birth an­niver­sary of for­mer Pres­i­dent A P J Ab­dul Kalam. The fo­cus of the pro­gramme would be on schools in 100 dis­tricts and the goals would be teach­ers, tif­fin and toi­lets.

Naqvi said the pre­vi­ous Congress-led UPA gov­ern­ment did not open “even a sin­gle” de­gree col­lege for mi­nori­ties be­tween 2007 and 2014. On the other hand, the cur­rent gov­ern­ment has built 33 de­gree col­leges in ar­eas dom­i­nated by mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties pop­u­la­tion-wise, he said. Be­tween 2007 and 2014, Naqvi said the UPA gov­ern­ment set up 72 in­dus­trial train­ing in­sti­tutes, as against 97 opened by the present NDA gov­ern­ment since 2014, the min­is­ter said.

“The Na­tional Mi­nori­ties Devel­op­ment and Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (NMDFC) has dis­trib­uted fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to 1,08,588 ben­e­fi­cia­ries in 2016-17, while 75,966 peo­ple were ben­e­fited in 2013-14,” Naqvi said. BI­HAR’S RUL­ING Janata Dal (United) on Thurs­day called the Rs 1,25,000 spe­cial pack­age an­nounced for the state in Au­gust 2015 a “po­lit­i­cal stunt” say­ing that the NITI Aayog has no in­for­ma­tion about it.

The party cited a re­ply from the Aayog’s fi­nan­cial re­sources divi­sion to a query un­der the Right to In­for­ma­tion Act to ac­tivist Mo­hammed Iqbal An­sari on April 26 to ques­tion the au­then­tic­ity of the pack­age.

“It is to be stated that the fi­nan­cial re­sources divi­sion does not have any in­for­ma­tion re­quested in the ap­pli­ca­tion ex­cept the press re­lease dated 18th Au­gust 2015 of Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice on Prime Min­is­ter’s spe­cial pack­age...,” a JD(U) press re­lease quoted the RTI re­ply as say­ing.

JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Ku­mar re­ferred to the RTI re­ply and sought a clar­i­fi­ca­tion from Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on whether the spe­cial pack­age for Bi­har ex­ists. He noted that an of­fi­cial press re­lease was is­sued on the pack­age and won­dered why the NITI Aayog did not have any clue about it.

Another JD(U) spokesman Ra­jiv Ranjan added that the Prime Min­is­ter had dis­cussed the Bi­har pack­age in his Man Ki Baat ra­dio pro­gramme as well.

BJP leader and for­mer Bi­har deputy chief min­is­ter Sushil Ku­mar Modi told The In­dian Ex­press that a spe­cial cell in the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice has been mon­i­tor­ing the spe­cial pack­age work in Bi­har. He added that the de­part­ments con­cerned were sub­mit­ting monthly work com­pli­ance re­ports over it. “It is not nec­es­sary for the NITI (Aayog) to have all these de­tails. Ganga bridge (Patna) ren­o­va­tion, pro­posed Patna-ara-buxar road, Deen­dayal Jy­oti Yo­jana are all parts of the Bi­har pack­age. The fundis­be­in­gre­leased­to­ev­ery­im­ple­ment­ing agency in a phased man­ner,” he said.

The PM had an­nounced the spe­cial pack­age dur­ing the Bi­har assem­bly elec­tion cam­paign.


Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi prays at Seema Malaka Tem­ple, in Colombo on Thurs­day.


Mukhtar Ab­bas Naqvi at a press meet in Delhi, Thurs­day.

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