Minority funds diverted in PM 'backyard': AUDF | india | Hindustan Times
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Minority funds diverted in PM 'backyard': AUDF

india Updated: Jun 22, 2009 15:36 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's new guidelines for welfare of minorities were being violated in his 'own backyard' for planned diversion of funds. A party catering specifically to minorities in Assam has alleged.

The PM has been a Rajya Sabha member from Assam and a tenant of former Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia since 1991. Assam is thus referred to as his home state.

According to the Asom United Democratic Front (AUDF), the Congress-led alliance government in the state has been misusing funds meant for minority areas ignoring the PM's 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities.

"The guidelines for preparation of district development plans under the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs warrant priority to villages, blocks or localities having a substantial population of minority communities. This is not being adhered to in Assam," said AUDF president Badruddin Ajmal.

One of India's top perfume merchants and a Muslim cleric, Ajmal is also the party's MP from Dhubri constituency. The AUDF, notably, has had a phenomenal political rise since its formation in 2005.

Ajmal claimed he had many examples to prove his point. He, however, chose to concentrate on the central Assam district of Nagaon, where Muslims have a 51 per cent population.

"Under a World Bank scheme, Rs 6.5 crore was allocated to Samaguri panchayat with less than five per cent minority population while Rs 50 lakh was sanctioned to Kaliabor College with only 18 per cent minority students. Similarly, Rs 5.32 lakh was allocated to Shankardev Nagar with one per cent minority population while Nagaon Polytechnic with 10 per cent minority students got Rs 4 crore," he added.

The AUDF allegation followed a demand from the Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad - a literary organisation of Muslims inhabiting river sandbars - for a review of the implementation of the PM's 15-point programme.