Minister defends Cong promise of quota for backward Muslims

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Minister defends Cong promise of quota for backward Muslims
Lucknow, Apr 25: Defending his Congress party's promise of 4.5 per cent reservation for backward Muslims, Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rehman Khan today said it should not be deemed as "appeasement".

"This is not a political game or appeasement," Khan said when told that opposition parties had termed the promise to give 4.5 per cent reservation to backward Muslims in its supplementary manifesto - "empowerment of minorities" - as appeasement. "We have promised this in our manifesto for 2009 Lok Sabha elections. If you see we had said that if UPA comes to power again then Karnataka reservation model will be implemented," he said.

"It is a different thing that it was struck by Andhra Pradesh High Court and now the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. As far as Dalit Muslims are concerned that issue is also pending in the SC," he added. In a renewed minority outreach amid the electioneering, Congress had released an additional manifesto on "empowerment of minorities" promising a quota of 4.5 per cent for backward Muslims in the existing other backward caste reservations.

Khan also rejected allegation of non-implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee, and said its benefits did not reach the eligible persons due to laxity of the state governments. "We are accused of not implementing the recommendations of Sachar committee which is wrong. We accepted 69 of 72 recommendations made by the committee and implemented 66 of them," he said.

He alleged that due to laxity of the state governments eligible Muslims did not get the benefit of the programmes launched on the basis of these recommendations. The minister said when Congress forms the government at the Centre, the Communal Violence Avoidance Bill would be passed within 100 days.

PTI

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