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U.P.: Confusion and anxiety
By Masood Hasan, Lucknow
Confusion and anxiety prevails among the Muslims since the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government came to power in Uttar Pradesh. The pitiable condition of the Muslims can be guaged from the fact that the Uttar Pradesh government had transferred more than 300 officers belonging to the IAS, IPS and PCS cadres in the last few months but it did not post even a single Muslim officer to hold the charge of the district, commissionary, ranges or the zones. This had shocked the members of the minority community, who are up in arms against the alliance government, particularly against the ruling partners of the BJP.
The Milli Gazette correspondent in Lucknow met the Leader of the Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, Mr. Ahmad Hasan, to elicit his views regarding the stepmotherly treatment being given to the minorities.
Mr. Ahmad Hasan pointed out that the BJP, which rose to the crest of power on the anti-Muslim wave, was bent upon implementing the ideologies and policies of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He maintained that the BJP government had made the Muslims its target in a deliberate attempt to demoralize them. Mr. Hasan alleged that a deliberate attempt was being made by the BJP government to weaken the the Muslims financially and socially. In this context, he pointed out the fact that not a Muslim officer was appointed to handle the administration in the districts or commissionary.
The Samajwadi Party leader disclosed that a meeting of the Muslim leaders would be held soon to chalk out a plan of action so that they could put pressure on the government to implement the welfare schemes meant for the Muslims. The Muslim leaders are also planning to meet the State Governor, Mr. Suraj Bhan shortly to apprise him of the government's stepmotherly treatment towards the minority community. The Leader of opposition severely criticized the Minister for Haj and Waqf and Minority Welfare, Mr. Gazanafar Ali Khan for mishandling his department. He alleged that Mr. Ali was a blot on the face of community. Mr. Hasan even went to the extent of alleging that the Minister was minting money by appropriating the funds meant for the welfare of the Muslims. He pointed out that he had raised the issue of the misappropriation of funds, particularly meant for distribution as scholarships among Muslim children during the last Legislative Council session.
The Central Government's decision to appoint a committee to review the Constitution also came in for criticism. He felt that in the name of the review of the Constitution, the BJP-led government at the centre wanted to implement uniform civil code and scrap the Article 370 of the Constitution giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Muslims will not allow to change their own civil code, he asserted.
Mr. Hasan assured the Muslims that if his party (Samajwadi Party) was voted to power in the next Assembly elections in the state, his government would order a high-level investigation into the misuse of the scholarship fund meant for the Muslim students. He also stated his party was in favour of reservation for the Muslims in proportionate to their population in the state.