The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (Mhada) low-cost housing scheme has been hit by controversy, with one of Mhada Mumbai board member, who is also an NCP leader, accusing the state government of neglecting the religious minorities in the housing lottery.
Mubarak Khan, who heads the NCP minority wing, expressed his view at a meeting of the Mumbai Mhada board on Friday.
Khan was pointing at the non-implementation of the minority quota in the current lot of 4,034 low-cost houses, put on the block by the housing body.
He also said he had faced acute embarrassment due to the state government.
“Despite Mhada passing the proposal for introducing a minority quota one and half years ago, the state is not taking any decision,” said Khan. He said he has been following the case with the state ministers, but with no results.
He cited the examples of the Sachar and Ranganathan Mishra commissions, which highlighted the sorry state of minorities and called for affirmative actions to improve their state.
Amarjit Singh Manhas, Chairman, Mhada (Mumbai Board), defending the state government on the issue, said. “The state is supportive of the resolution and is exploring various ways to implement it,” said Manhas.
According to the state government officials, the quota, which is presently in force for various categories like the reserved classes, defence forces, legislators, freedom fighters and handicapped, has already reached the upper limit of 50 %. To incorporate another category, the shares of the other beneficiaries will have to be reduced. “No one will agree to sacrifice their share,” said a Mhada official, not wishing to be named.
The BJP has condemned the stance and asked the state to refrain from such religion-based quotas. “It is a typical example of vote bank politics and will only serve to hurt the country,” said Rajesh Sharma, Former Deputy Mayor and BJP leader. He said that minority communities should follow the same procedure as others and secure houses through lottery.