As the amendment Bill to address the loopholes in the management of Waqf properties was passed in the Lok Sabha Thursday,political parties used it as an opportunity to proclaim their affection for Muslims by trying to outdo each other by stating what they had done for the minorities.
The BJP used the occasion to criticise the ruling Congress for failing to address the backwardness of the Muslim community even after decades of being in power.
The Waqf amendment Bill,2010,which seeks to check encroachment of Waqf properties and make them commercially viable by extending their lease period to a maximum of 30 years,was passed in the Lok Sabha Thursday evening.
Minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan,in his reply to the debate on the bill,maintained that provisions in the new bill will enable the authorities to remove illegal encroachment of thousands of acres of Waqf properties. The new provisions will help Waqf authorities effectively utilise hundreds of acres of unutilised Waqf land across the country.
The bill had been referred to a select committee in August last year after it was taken up in the Rajya Sabha in the wake of objections raised by some Muslim bodies,including the All India Muslim Personal law board.
Khan said the central and state governments had been made responsible for conducting the survey of the Waqf properties. He noted that around 123 Waqf properties were being encroached upon in Delhi alone.