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What others say, I’ve nothing to do: Heptulla on Katheria

Najma Heptullah

New Delhi: Union minister Najma Heptulla today steered clear of her ministerial colleague Ram Shankar Katheria’s alleged hate remarks in Agra, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words matter to her most and she was focused only on development of minorities.

“Narendra Modi is my Prime Minister, I follow what he says. Who is saying what, the Prime Minister will see, all ministers work under him. Not under me. I need not say anything on this.

“He must have read newspapers, he must be aware of this more than me. So instead of me, let the Prime Minister speak on this. For me, what the Prime Minister of party president say is final for me. What others say, I have nothing to do with it,” Heptulla said.

She made the remark while briefing reporters on the budgetary allocations made to her Minority Affairs Ministry.

She said the matter relating to law and order situation (post Katheria’s remark) will be looked into by Home Ministry and reiterated that her Ministry’s job is related only to development of minorities.

On the allocation made to her ministry in the budget 2016-17, Heptulla said she was satisfied with the provisions and claimed other social sector schemes in the sphere of education, health, agriculture and insurance will also benefit minorities.

“We have got nearly Rs 90 crore extra in this budget. I am happy that we received the funds in given circumstances.

“There are social development schemes, be it in health, education, insurance, agriculture or any other scheme, through which they (minorities) will get support at macro-level. The Rs 3,800 crore allotted will be used for development at macro-level,” she added.

Heptulla said the Ministry is trying to strengthen multi- sector development programme for minorities.

She said that Central Haj Committee is likely to be managed by her ministry from October onwards.

Katheria had on February 28 attended a condolence meeting held for VHP worker Arun Mahaur, who was allegedly killed by some youths from another community in Agra last Thursday.

At the meeting, Katheria had said, “This conspiracy that is being hatched against the Hindu community, we have to be alert to recognise it and strengthen ourselves. We will have to fight it because if we do not do it now, today we have lost one Arun, tomorrow it could be another Arun… The killers should also go, we have to set such an example.

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