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Promise kept, Muslim leader in cabinet

Dr Mumtaz Ali Khan, the lone Muslim member in the BJP ministry headed by BS Yeddyurappa, says he would prefer the education portfolio, reports BR Srikanth.

india Updated: May 31, 2008 01:32 IST
B.R. Srikanth

Dr Mumtaz Ali Khan, the lone Muslim member in the Bharatiya Janata Party ministry headed by B.S. Yeddyurappa, says he would prefer the education portfolio, but seems resigned to fate saying he may get Wakf and Haj.

“Personally, I would have liked to handle the education ministry and improve many things in our education system, in particular education for girls. I believe if you educate the girl, you educate an entire family,” said Dr Khan, 73, a retired professor of sociology, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, who has served as vice-president of the state unit of the BJP.

“It’s unbelievable. I got a call at 11.30 pm yesterday (about induction into the ministry), though there were some indications earlier. My academic background coupled with the fact that I worked for communal harmony in north Karnataka has been recognised by the party. I will continue to work for harmony between Hindus and Muslims,” he told this correspondent.

He is likely to be elected member of legislative council soon.

Dr Khan made it to the Cabinet because Yeddyurappa kept his promise of inducting one from minority community in the run up to polls to the legislative assembly.