Centre launches Muslim outreach programme
The Centre on Thursday launched its Muslim outreach programme, with Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi holding an interactive session with the community members here in Haryana, telling them that the NDA dispensation is committed to empower and provide equal opportunity to all.
Seeking to “remove any misconceptions” among the Muslims at the first ‘Progress Panchayat’, Naqvi hit out at “so- called political champions of secularism” who he said are only engaged in exploitation of minorities.
The launch of the outreach programme from this Muslim- dominated area comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Muslims should be treated as “own” and should be empowered.
“We have come to hold dialogue with people as per Modiji’s instructions. Earlier the outreach was limited to electioneering but ministers will reach out to people even after elections and this is the prime example,” Naqvi said.
“Our steadfast concern remains development and we will not deviate from that agenda,” the Minority Affairs Minister said.
He said the objective of the ‘Progress Panchayat’ was not political but to reach out to the minority community and apprise them of the development initiatives taken by the government.
During the event, one person named Khurshid Ahmed, in his sixties, stood up and alleged that while “Congress betrayed the community”, BJP leaders too do not pay heed to their grievances.
“We are true patriots. When we go to BJP people and to the officals as well, we get no response,” he told Naqvi.
The organisers tried to stop him but he was able to complete despite intervention as the audience egged him on.
“Congress betrayed the community despite being in power for 60 years. We expect BJP to do good for us,” Ahmed said at the event organised at Modern school Hatim Pawal district.
However, Naqvi assured him that the NDA government was against votebank politics and was only committed to empower and provide equal opportunities.
Union Minister and local MP Krishan Pal Gurjar was also present at the event.
Another Progress Panchayat was held in Bichor in Mewat district which was attended by local MP and Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh.
Both the districts where the programme was held have a sizable Muslim population. Mewat had witnessed tension following the murder of a couple and gang rape of two members of the family allegedly by a cow protection group last month.