Haj subsidy withdrawn: Unfair and insensitive, say RJD and Congress
The central government should have been more liberal in this case, especially when the matter is related to someone’s religion and faith, says RJD’s state spokesperson.india Updated: Jan 16, 2018 20:06 IST
The Centre’s decision to discontinue subsidy on Haj pilgrimage evoked mixed reactions from major political parties in Bihar on Tuesday.
While the RJD and Congress slammed the Centre for the decision calling it an “unfair and insensitive decision”, the JD(U) and BJP defended the Centre’s decision.
RJD’s state spokesperson Ejya Yadav said the Centre’s decision to discontinue subsidy in the Haj pilgrimage was an “unfair decision” reasoning that it would deprive a large number of lower income group pilgrims of an opportunity to visit the Mecca.
“The central government should have been more liberal in this case, especially when the matter is related to someone’s religion and faith,” she said.
Yadav also stressed that the subsidy had continued for a long time and there was no reason for it to be discontinued, dubbing it as a political move by the BJP-led NDA government.
Congress state president Kauqab Quadri took a similar line and said the Centre’s decision had brought to fore the “insensitive face” of the PM Modi-led NDA government.
“On one hand, the Centre talks about inclusive development whereas on the other hand it is taking such steps which will deprive the poor of an opportunity to go on pilgrimage. The discontinuation of the Haj subsidy is also an attempt to polarise the country for political gains and divert attention from the recent outbursts by Supreme Court judges about ‘threat to democracy’,” he said.
Defending the central government’s decision, JD(U) national general secretary KC Tyagi said the discontinuation of the subsidy for Haj pilgrimage was a demand being made by various Muslim groups for the last many years.
“It is on the demand of various Muslim groups and other bodies that the Centre has taken the decision. It has been argued on many platforms — even by Muslim groups — that taking subsidy for Haj pilgrimage was not allowed in the Quran and other religious texts,” he said.
State BJP leaders also defended the government saying the decision had been taken after a lot of discussions with the stakeholders.