Rubbishing opposition’s charge that the Modi government is interfering in Shariat matters, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday welcomed the ongoing debate on triple talaq and Uniform Civil Code, saying discussion is a sign of healthy democracy. “The Modi government has not been interfering in religious or Shariat matters. Some people are spreading this misconception for their narrow political gains. They are trying to divert the attention from the government’s agenda of development for all, including minorities,” he said.
Noting that there is nothing wrong with the ongoing debate, the Union MoS for Minority Affairs said, “There should be a positive discussion on triple talaq and Uniform Civil Code. Debate and discussion are important part of any democracy. National consensus should be achieved through national debate.”
Addressing a “Progress Panchayat” at Jagatpur Patti village near Jaspur in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district, he claimed many political parties are accusing the Narendra Modi government of interfering in religious and Shariat matters as part of a “negative propaganda” against the Centre. “Development agenda alone can defeat people and parties with such negative agendas,” the Union Minister said and claimed that “masters of corruption” are unable to digest a “corruption-free, development oriented governance” provided by the Prime Minister.
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Modi had succeeded in providing clean, honest and transparent governance which has resulted in socio-economic empowerment of the poor, weaker sections and the minorities at the ground level, Naqvi claimed. He said ‘Progress Panchayat’ has nothing to do with votes, but it is a “draft of development”. The Union minister said the objective of ‘Progress Panchayat’, launched on September 29 from Mewat in Haryana, is to ensure that the benefits of Centre’s schemes reach the targeted beneficiaries and get to a feedback on the hurdles in implementation of the schemes at the ground level.
Observing that preparing policies and schemes on paper is not enough, Naqvi said, “We have to make sure that these schemes, aimed at welfare of the needy, are producing results on the ground.” “The ministry should go to people, listen to their problems and resolve those. Then only we will be able to provide the fruits of development to the last person of the society,” he said.
Naqvi also said the minority affairs ministry has been working on different strategies for the welfare of Muslim community. These include protection and development of waqf properties, free those from the clutches of ‘waqf mafias’ and establishing a one-man Board of Adjudication at Central-level to deal with complaints regarding waqf properties, he said. The Board will be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge. Three-member tribunals are being established in the states. About 15 to 16 states have established these tribunals. Other states should also do this soon, he said.
“At my first meeting after assuming charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, I told officials that results of schemes and programmes should be visible at grass-root level. Welfare schemes should not remain on paper. They should be converted into a reality,” Naqvi said.
“Officials should visit villages to ensure benefits of welfare schemes are reaching every needy person. There is no dearth of schemes and funds for development of Muslim and other minority communities. “We only need to inform the people about these welfare measures and ‘Progress Panchayat’ is a campaign which will prove to be an effective means to achieve this purpose,” he said.
Informing people about various schemes of his ministry, like ‘Seekho aur Kamao’, ‘Nai Manzil’, ‘Nai Raushni’, ‘Ustaad’ and ‘Nai Udaan’, Naqvi said these have can guarantee empowerment of the poor belonging to minority communities. The Union Minister said various projects have been approved for Uttarakhand during 2014-15, including three degree colleges, five school buildings, two hostels, five ITIs and six health centres.
Crores of rupees has been released for various development projects under Multi-sectoral Development Programme in the state during 2015-16, he said. Under ‘Seekho Aur Kamao’ (Learn and Earn) schemes, about 2,200 people had been provided training from 2014. Under ‘Nai Raushni’ scheme, 3,300 people had been provided job-oriented training, he claimed.
Naqvi said the Minority Affairs Ministry has also taken initiative to preserve, protect and promote ancient art and culture of minority communities under ‘Ustaad’ scheme. Artisans belonging to Minority Communities from the country’s far-flung areas will display their traditional art and skills at India International Trade Fair (IITF), to be organised from November 14 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.