LDF following ''anti-minority'' policies: AICC

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Kochi, Jul 1 (UNI) All India Congress Committee (AICC) Minority Department Chairman Imran Ur Rehman Kidwai today accused the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in Kerala of following ''anti-minority'' policies,especially in the education sector.

Earlier, Mr Kidwai, who met Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) President Daniel Acharuparambil and some other bishops here, accused the Left front government of wanting to ''destroy'' minority-run educational institutions.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the Congress would oppose the Left front designs. The LDF was no different from the BJP in following anti-minority programmes, he added.

Noting the absence of a minority commission or a minority finance commission in Kerala, the Congress leader demanded the LDF Government set these at the earliest.

On the school textbook controversy in Kerala, Mr Kidwai said the Congress strongly objected to some portions in the textbooks and demanded that these be deleted. ''This is a very dangerous trend for the society and the nation,'' he added.

The church has been demanding the withdrawal of the class VII social studies textbook, contending that it promoted atheism and communism.

Mr Kidwai said the textbook controversy and the larger issue of minority-run educational institutions were discussed at his meeting with Archbishop Acharuparambil and other church leaders.

Noting that Article 31 of the Constitution gave right to minority communities to run their educational institutions without interference, he said the Kerala government was trying to destroy this right.

To a question, he said the Congress was willing to lead a second liberation struggle to rid the masses in Kerala of LDF rule.

Asked about the general elections, he said it would be held as per schedule and were not likely to be advanced.

On the Sachar committee report implementation, he said the UPA Government had already started adopting programmes based on the committee's recommendations. For the first time, specific minority development programmes were incorporated by the Planning Commission in the 11th five-year plan.

A total of Rs 3,780 crore had been earmarked in the 11th Plan for 90 minority concentration districts, of which Rs 540 crore would be spent this year itself.

UNI ARC DS SLD ND1915

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