Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi might not be wearing skull cap and skipping ‘Iftar’ parties but his government, unlike others in the past, was “sincerely” doing work to provide livelihood to minority communities, Union minister Najma Heptulla on Saturday claimed.
“Everybody in the past wore ‘topi’ but Prime Minister Narendra Modi government is the first which in place of ‘topi’ is working sincerely to provide ‘roti’ to minority communities,” she told reporters.
The Union Minority Affairs Minister launched ‘Nai Manzil’ scheme in poll-bound Bihar today in a bid to reach out to minority Muslims in the election.
She did not give much credence to the Prime Minister not attending an Iftar party recently hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee.
“In truth the ‘Iftar’ parties hosted by the rich are mostly photo-op events. Does anybody organise such ‘Iftar’ parties in ‘garibo ki basti’ (areas of poor)”, she asked.
In an apparent dig at the Congress, Heptulla said its leaders “wore” ‘topi’ and gave “Sachar committee report” but “none of its recommendations were sincerely implemented” to improve the lot of the minorities.
On the other hand, Narendra Modi government had made seven promises to minorities on coming to power and six of them which involves Minority Affairs ministry were “achieved”, the senior BJP leader said.
The Minority Affairs minister said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad claimed themselves as champions of Muslim causes but in reality they “paid only lip service” to their upliftment.
“Truth is that Muslims in Bihar today are economically worse than dalits,” she claimed.
On the ‘Nai Manzil’ scheme, one of the promises of the Prime Minister, and which was announced by Union Finance Minister in his budgetary speech, she said, this scheme will help out-of-school or drop-out students of schools and madrasas get formal class 12 and class 10 certificates so that they get jobs.
Such students would be offered bridge courses and the given certificates for class 12 and class 10 from distance education system.
At the same time, they will also be provided basic training in manufacturing, engineering, services and soft skills.
Heptulla said her ministry took pioneering initiative and helped a “large number” of Muslims open bank account to avail the Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Jan Dhan’ yojna.
The Union government provided 86 lakh students of minority communities scholarship for pre-matric and matric level, she said.