Hyderabad: In an impressive show of strength, the Congress party organised a massive rally on Monday asking the TRS Government to fulfil its major electoral promise of giving 12% reservation in jobs and education to Muslims of Telangana.
The ‘Walk for 12% Muslim Reservation’, organised by GHCC Minorities Dept chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, was led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy. AICC Telangana Incharge R.C. Khuntia, AICC Minorities Department chairman Nadeem Javeed, AICC Secretaries Srinivasan Krishnan and Saleem Ahmed, Leader of Opposition in Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, former PCC Presidents V. Hanumantha Rao and Ponnala Lakshmaiah, ex-union minister Sarve Satyanarayana, Hyderabad DCC President M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav, Minorities Dept chairman Khaja Fakhruddin, TPCC Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin, Kaleem Baba and other leaders participated in the padayatra which witnessed the participation of thousands of party workers.
The Congress leaders signed a Post Card requesting Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to fulfil the promise of 12% Muslim reservation. Starting at Gandhi Bhavan, the Congress leaders and thousands of activists walked up to the General Post Office at Abids to drop the postcards in the box. They also raised slogans against the TRS Government and KCR accusing him of cheating the Muslim community.
Later, Uttam Kumar Reddy, along with other senior leaders, addressed a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan accusing the Chief Minister of betraying the Muslim community on the promise of 12% quota. He reminded that the Chief Minister had promised to wage a battle with the Central Government for enhanced quota for Muslims. “What happened to the Tsunami that you threatened to bring if Centre rejects 12% Muslim quota? Why did you not hold any protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi? When are you going to take an all-party delegation to Delhi?” he asked.
Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that KCR was trying to wash off his hands from the promise of 12% Muslim reservation. He said KCR should also apologise for lying in Assembly that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed to enhance Muslim quota. “KCR had promised to implement 12% Muslim quota within four months after coming to power. Today TRS Govt completed 49 months in power and there are no signs of its implementation. TRS should not seek votes from Muslims if 12% quota is not implemented,” he said.
Further, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the KCR Government failed on all fronts with regard to the welfare of minorities. He said that the Wakf Board was not granted the promised judicial powers and not a single inch of encroached land has been resorted. Similarly, nothing was done for the promotion of Urdu language and the government even failed to constitute the new Urdu Academy even after four years.
The TPCC chief also slammed the TRS Government over poor utilisation of funds meant for minorities’ welfare. Giving a comparative statement from budget figures, he said of Rs. 1,030 Crore allocated in 2014-15, only Rs. 307.86 crore were spent. Similarly, the spending was Rs. 490.29 Cr (out of Rs. 1,130.36 Cr) in 2015-16, Rs. 850.01 Cr (out of Rs. 1204 Cr) in 2016-17 and nearly Rs. 700 Cr (out of Rs. 1,249.49 Cr) in 2017-18. Therefore, most of the allocated budget remained unspent. Further, he said that the State Government had overall allocations of nearly Rs. 6.5 lakh crore in the last five budgets (2014-15 to 2018-19). Of this, only Rs. 6,613.85 Crore were allocated in the four years for minorities’ welfare which is just 1.01% of the total budget. Of these allocations, less than Rs. 3,000 crore or just 0.46% of the total amount has been spent. This means that less than half-a-percent amount was spent for the welfare of a community which constitutes nearly 13% of the total population, he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that despite making a confession on the floor of Assembly of a shortage of staff in the Minorities Welfare Department, the Chief Minister, who holds the Minorities’ Welfare portfolio, took no steps were taken to fill those vacancies. Lakhs of students have been suffering due to non-release of Scholarships and Fee Reimbursement dues. He said almost 90% of minority institutions were closed due to delays and non-release of funds towards Fee Reimbursement. He also alleged that the TRS Government remained a mute spectator to the reduction in funds for Minorities’ Welfare by the Central Government. KCR Govt did not even lodge its protest or made any representation with the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs in this regard, he said.
The TPCC chief said that nearly one lakh applications are pending for Shaadi Mubarak scheme. Referring to a phone call he received during a Facebook live programme, he said many Muslims, who had applied at the time of marriage, did not get funds although newly wedded couples became parents in the last one year. Similarly, he said minorities’ youth were being denied loans under the loan-cum-subsidy scheme. Of 153,906 loan applications, only 14,544 have been sanctioned and no fresh applications are being accepted since 2015-16.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also questioned the TRS Government over the delay of the report of Alair Encounter in which five Muslim under trail youth were killed. Similarly, he said there has been no progress in filing an appeal against the judgement of NIA Court in Mecca Masjid Blast Case. “A bomb blast at Mecca Masjid and death of several innocent persons is a reality. If all the accused persons are acquitted, then who engineered that bomb blast. NIA, BJP Govt at the Centre or TRS Govt in Telangana appears serious in going for an appeal against the acquittal of all accused persons,” he said.
Replying to a question, Uttam Kumar Reddy announced that the Congress party would field strong candidates from all seats in the Old City in next elections. “I must admit that the Congress party never contested elections in the Old City seriously and always helped MIM. However, from now onwards, we are very serious. MIM became stronger due to Congress party and later betrayed it. This time people will witness a different contest between Congress and MIM,” he said.
He appealed the Muslims to understand the secret nexus between TRS and MIM with BJP who are strengthening each other. He reiterated that voting for TRS or MIM would be like voting for BJP.
With inputs from NSS