Azam Khan twist to Akhilesh government's bonanza for Muslims

The Uttar Pradesh Minority Welfare Minister has widely been blamed for the Samajwadi Party’s inaction on various issues that concern the Muslim community

Published: 10th June 2013 07:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2013 08:49 AM   |  A+A-

More than 14 months since the formation of Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh Government, its unfulfilled promises are cocking the snook at the Muslim community.

Senior leader Mohammad Azam Khan is widely blamed for the party’s inaction on various issues that concern the community. Incidentally, the state has the highest Muslim population in the country.

Many key posts in various committees working for the community welfare are lying vacant. It includes chairman of the State Minority Commission, Madrasa Board, UP Urdu Akademi and the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Memorial Committee.

The promise to ensure job reservation for the Muslims has not seen the daylight. Terror cases against Muslim youth have met with poor perusal and have seen rejection by the High Court. The Minority Concentrated Development Programme fund utilisation stands at below 30 per cent.

“It is the M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) government and we had solidly voted to it, but the pathetic scenario lies exposed before the public”, lamented a UP minister from the Muslim community. “We have been given just a cosmetic role and nothing else,” he added.

Khan, who holds the Minority Welfare Department, is responsible for filling several vacancies. But he has thwarted every move of SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh in this direction.

“We have been meeting the party leadership and the Chief Minister to remind them of their promises.... But they express helplessness over Khan’s inaction,” said Imam of the Jama Masjid Ahmed Bukhari.

Bukhari accused Khan for blackmailing the party for his vested interests.

A section of the party and the bureaucracy loyal to the SP lamented at how Khan has embarrassed the entire state on his alleged frisking in the US. “It was a golden opportunity to market UP’s success in the US and its historic management of the world’s largest congregation during the Maha Kumbh Mela earlier this year, but Khan Sahib, in order to show his importance, did all the drama in the US and compelled the Chief Minister to boycott all functions and return to Lucknow. The government had spent lakhs of rupees on the huge delegation,” said an officer attached to the chief secretary’s office.

The Muslim leaders are ruing that the govt has appointed over 100 people as chairpersons of various academies, commissions and public sector undertakings, but is helpless in appointing the heads of institutions devoted to Muslim welfare.

The party suffered a blow to its promise of withdrawing terror charges on the “innocent Muslim boys”, when the High Court on June 7 rejected the government move and sought for the trial of the accused.

With the 2014 Lok Sabha election drawing closer, the SP is facing the heat. Maulana Firangi Mahli, an influential leader, said: “People are watching very closely. The ruling party has failed.”

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