More facilities for Haj pilgrims this year: Minister
The state government would soon construct a ‘Minority House’ in Gomti Nagar for the office of the minorities department, said minister of minorities and Haj affairs Lakshmi Narain Chaudhary during the lottery (Qurrah) for Haj pilgrims at Haj House.Updated: Jan 23, 2018 16:46 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The state government would soon construct a ‘Minority House’ in Gomti Nagar for the office of the minorities department, said minister of minorities and Haj affairs Lakshmi Narain Chaudhary during the lottery (Qurrah) for Haj pilgrims at Haj House on Monday.
- In all ,42,892 applications for Haj were received.
- 32 women of over 45 years of age were given direct Haj permission under Mehram category
- In all, 29,851 people will perform Haj from the state. 27,198 were chosen through lottery.
- Chosen pilgrims would be informed through SMS and call.
- Chosen pilgrims will have to deposit Rs 81000 with their passport , one photo and a fitness certificate at the office of UP Haj Committee.
- 829 Haj pilgrims from Lucknow will go for Haj while 1,337 pilgrims will go from Moradabad which has got highest quota of pilgrims from the state.
- Only 22 pilgrims will be going for Haj from Sonebhadra and Chitrakoot, 23 from Auraiyya and 24 from Lalitpur.
In all, 27,198 pilgrims were chosen for Haj from various cities out of 42,892 applicants from all over the state.
Taking a dig at chairman of UP State Haj Committee Azam Khan, Chaudhary said , “Either Azam hates my face or he is not interested in work related to Muslims and Haj. That is why he always remains absent during important work like Qurrah. He also doesn’t find time for any meeting of the committee.”
On Haj subsidy withdrawal, he said the amount saved would be spent on welfare of minorities. The subsidy was done away because of the Supreme Court order.
He said the state government did not believe in appeasement but in working for the uplift of minorities.
“The chief minister himself has directed me to participate in today’s function and to ensure best of facilities in Mecca and Medina. He has ordered to increase number of Haj Sewaks (Hujjaj) so that any Haj pilgrim from UP does to face any problem there,” he said.
He said facilities for Haj pilgrims would be more this year. During the Samajwadi Party rule, for five years no Haj Sewaks were sent by the state but as soon as the BJP came to power, it sent 145 Hujjaj for service of Hajis and this year their number would be increased.
Minister of state for minority affairs Mohsin Raza came down heavily those criticizing the Haj subsidy withdrawal.
“Subsidy on Haj was not legitimate according to Shariyat. However, it was withdrawn after the Supreme Court directives,” he said.
Coming down heavily on Azam Khan he said, “the BJP does not believe in taking political advantage on religious occasions. We take not political but spiritual benefits. If we work well and arrange everything well during Haj, God will also bless our government. We will monitor all arrangements there every day during Haj.”
He said that many people were demanding open tender for flights but this could not be done now as there was an agreement between Saudi Arabia and India that 50% of pilgrims would be taken by Saudi Airlines and the rest by Air India. So a global tender could be floated only after the agreement was over.
First Published: Jan 23, 2018 16:46 IST