The BJP government has decided to dissolve the board of the Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation, which provides loans to members of the minority community. The move is being seen as an attempt by the new government to clear all boards and corporations of individuals appointed by the previous Congress-NCP government. Outgoing chairman Javed Shroff, who spent four months on the post, has called the move a political vendetta and claimed that it would hurt the interest of the Muslim community.
Apart from Shroff, 10 directors of the board have been removed too.
The MAMFDC was set up in 2000 to provide term loans to weaker sections of the minority community. The corpus of the board stands at Rs 175 crore but there had been widespread complaints over the delay and selection of people for allotment of funds. Its managing director is a government employee, while the board of directors are political appointees.
When the BJP came to power, it was the first time in the history of the state that the minority development department, which monitors and controls the board, had a non-Muslim minister in Eknath Khadse. Soon after taking over, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said his government would not shut down or tamper with institutions working in the field of minority development.
Shroff, who got to know about the state government’s decision on Thursday, claimed that their removal smacked of political vendetta and would hurt the development of the Muslim community.
“I had met the minority development minister a month back and was willing to resign. He, however, asked me to continue. Suddenly, I have come to know that the entire board is being dissolved. No replacement has been announced. All this suggests that this is a political vendetta and this decision will hurt the growth of the Muslim community,” said Shroff, who was appointed in July.
There are various other boards in the state that look into minority issues. These include Maharashtra State Haj Committee, Maharashtra State Wakf Board and the Maharashtra State Urdu Academy. Members of these committees now fear that they would be asked to go as well.
Khadse was not available for comment.
A senior state government official, however, said: “It is a normal practice of revamping boards when new governments come in. It should not be seen as an attempt to target a minority community institution.”