Under BJP pressure, Shinde puts survey of Muslims on hold | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Under BJP pressure, Shinde puts survey of Muslims on hold

By, Mumbai
Feb 08, 2023 12:37 AM IST

The state government has put a survey, aimed to assess the socio-economic condition of Muslims, on the back burner after the alliance partner, BJP, took objection to it

The state government has put a survey, aimed to assess the socio-economic condition of Muslims, on the back burner after the alliance partner, BJP, took objection to it.

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HT Image

The minorities affairs department had on September 21 last year issued a government resolution (GR) stating that Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) would visit 56 Muslim-dominated towns and conduct a study of the community’s condition. TISS was also mandated to study the benefits reaped by the community from the government schemes in education, employment, health, banking and other sectors. The GR said the state had made an allocation of 33,92,040.

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Soon after, women and child welfare minister and BJP leader Mangalprabhat Lodha wrote to chief minister Eknath Shinde. He claimed that the GR was issued without following the due process and without the knowledge of the chief minister.

“The proposal was prepared by former minority welfare minister Nawab Malik when the Uddhav Thackeray-led government was in power. Even the then CM was not taken into confidence on it. When I brought this to the notice of the CM (Shinde), he ordered to stay it,” Lodha said.

The minister also questioned why other minority communities (Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Buddhists) were not included in the order for the survey. “It is now up to the CM to decide the fate of the project,” he said.

The project is unlikely to see the light of the day, officials said. “Immediately after the minister raised objection, the CM asked for the file and ordered a stay on it. There are no further directives on it,” an official said, adding the CM, who heads the minorities affairs department, was aware of the proposal before the GR was issued.

A member of state-appointed Mohamood Ur Rahman committee, based on whose recommendations the study was commissioned, said, “The government can appoint separate groups to study the condition of other minority communities, but there is no need to scrap this project. The government is duty-bound by the constitution to address the concerns of the minorities. The recommendations of our committee were hardly implemented by the subsequent government.”

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