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Published in the 16-31 Oct 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

YSR: election promises will be kept

By Ibrahim Usmani

Y S Rajshekhar ReddyHyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajshekhar Reddy on 1st October assured that Congress will fulfill all the promises made in its election manifesto. He was speaking at a gathering of Muslim clerics and scholars at Public Gardens, Hyderabad. 

State Congress President D. Srinivas had invited Muslim clerics and leaders of United Muslim Front to tea. 

The Chief Minister said that he would consult Muslim clerics and scholars at regular intervals. He said that all the promises including those made during elections would be fulfilled. He appealed to the Muslim representatives to keep him informed of the Muslim problems and issues. He said that the state government would work for attention to the prosperity and development of every section of society because the previous government paid less heed to the minorities and therefore now special attention would be required. He gave the example of the repeal of POTA and said that although some sections were against the repeal but the Congress led UPA government at the centre had repealed the draconian law. 

Mr. Srinivas, State Congress President and Rural Development Minister said that every two to three months such meetings would take place between Muslim representatives and the government.

President All India Majlis Tameer-e-Millat and Assistant General Secretary All India Muslim Personal Board, Abdur Raheem Quraishi expressed happiness over the repeal of POTA. He also thanked the government for providing five- percent quota for Muslims and said that there is a need for implementing the directions laid by the AP High Court. He demanded that at the time of constituting the Backward Class Commission it should be clarified in the government order that the Mandal Commission and the High Court has already said that Muslims can be included in the list of backward class. There is no cast system in Muslims and therefore a maximum income limit should be made the criteria for the reservations to be given. 

He said that although POTA had been repealed police behavior towards Muslims is the same as was in Chandrababu Naidu’s regime. Police Commissioner R P Singh while giving an interview to an Urdu newspaper said that there was no ISI network active in the city whereas when he gave an interview to an English newspaper he said that there were forty-two ISI agents working. Abdur Raheem Quraishi said that it seems that the BJP’s anti-Muslim agenda was still being implemented. 

Abdur Raheem Quraishi said that the Chief Minister had ordered a CID enquiry to investigate the arrest of ten Muslims including Maulana Naseeruddin within the time limit of twenty-five days and if found innocent they would be freed. The period had passed but still nothing had been done. 

Meanwhile, State VHP has decided to file a caveat in the Supreme Court against any move challenging the High Court Order quashing the five- percent quota for Muslims. Talking to reporters, State VHP working president, B. Manikyachary Secretary, T. Muralidhar Organizing Secretary, G. Satyam said that this was in response to some parties wanting to appeal against the verdict in Supreme Court although the state government is ready to bring in the legislation. 

They also criticized the central government for the proposal to setup a national commission to look into the issue of providing reservations to Muslims. "We have no objection if welfare schemes are for the upliftment of economically backward classes but providing reservation on communal basis is unjustified," Manikyachary said. He said that VHP will organize state wide competition in the Bhagwad Gita recitation for all school students. 

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