“ By taking 67 Madarsa on grant-in-aid list, 13000 Urdu teachers were provided government wages”, claims Samajwadi Party’s assembly election manifesto while wooing the Muslims. But the party could have never imagined that its poll agenda would actually turn out to be bane for the community.
It was litigation on these Madarasa, which finally led to de-recognition of Muslims as minority community by the High Court on April 5. Even though the Mulayam Singh Yadav government heaved sigh of relief after the division bench of the Allahabad High Court today stayed single bench decision against the Muslims in the state, it has caused bickering in the community.
In a massive damage control exercise the former advocate general and Samajwadi Party MP Virendra Bhatia accused the Congress-led UPA government of conspiring against Muslim community in the state. Bhatia told newsmen that the court had sought some information from the centre but it did not respond. Bhatia said the centre deliberately created a situation, which led to crisis. “It was UPA government plot against the chief minister” Bhatia said. He said Yadav government moved quickly and got stay on the court order from the division bench. Bhatia said issue before the court was not minority status but problems of two madarsas, which were not included in grant list.
While Bhatia accused the UPA government of not properly tackling the case in the court, the UP Minister for Minorities Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi charged his own government for “mishandling” the case in the court. Qureshi, who is now contesting assembly election under the banner of United Democratic Front (UDF) said officers of minorities welfare and law department had conspired against the Muslims on the issue. He also assailed the Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan for wrongly selecting 67 Madarsas, which led to litigation and finally de-recognition of Muslims as minority community. Even though HC has stayed the order and has fixed May 14 for next hearing, Qureshi said he would Supreme Court next week.
It all started in 1994 when the then Governor Motilal Vora under the President’s rule had announced to take 135 Madarsa on grant-in-aid list.
The government had then actually taken 68 Madarsa and there was no decision about remaining 67. Yadav announced grant-in-aid to 67 madarsa in May 2004 but there was hue and cry from those not included in the list.
Qureshi said he had then taken up the matter with the chief minister’s secretariat to rectify the anomalies in the selection process but there was no response. The minister alleged the officers in CM office did not want to provide grant to these institutions. Qureshi said “it was a conspiracy by the chief minister”.