Khurshid Ahmed Saiyed.
After focusing on Brahmins, farmers and then promising reservation within reservation for most backward castes, the Congress is now planning to organise minority conventions across the state, which is headed for Assembly polls next year. At a meeting held by Khurshid Ahmed Saiyed, AICC chairman of the minority department, in Lucknow on Sunday, it was decided that Congress would hold as many as 25 minority conventions and 12 public meetings to share and discuss the party’s agenda regarding issues faced by minorities.
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Khurshid said that the venues and dates for these conventions will be finalised after discussions with the party’s top rung. He said it would be a month-long campaign. Sources said November 15 had been decided as a tentative date.
Among promises like better educational opportunities in minority-dominated areas, some leaders also suggested demanding a “special court” to expedite hearings for those arrested for alleged involvement in terror cases.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Siraj Mehndi, chairman of the Congress’ state minority department, said, “While BJP is trying to develop a fear in the mind of minorities, political parties like Samajwadi Party (SP) are giving false promises. We would expose both during our month-long campaign.” He further said, “There was also a suggestion to demand for special court for hearing of those young boys, who are arrested on charges of involvement in terror cases. Some of these boys are released after 10-12 years and are found not guilty, but by then they have lost precious time of their life. Those guilty should be convicted fast and those not found guilty should be released fast, this would be our demand.”
Congress leaders also said that they would also counter SP on each of its promises made to minorities in its 2012 election manifesto, like opening of schools in minority-dominate areas and reservation. Pamphlets containing information on minority issues will be distributed during the public meetings.