NEW DELHI: Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said that Saudi Arabia has increased India’s Haj quota.
This is the second hike in two years, taking the number of pilgrims who can perform Haj from the country to 1.75 lakh.
Naqvi further credited the achievement to the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s ties with Saudi Arabia.
“India's Haj quota increased again by Saudi authorities, now more than 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims are allowed for Haj 2018 while this was 1.36 lakh till 2017. This is the consecutive second year when the Haj quota increased for India,” Naqvi told ANI.
“This is a big success of Modi led-government because it works for development with dignity without discrimination. Also, this is the highest number of Indian Haj being allowed by Saudi Authorities,” he added.
Yesterday, Naqvi took to Twitter and expressed happiness saying Saudi Arabia has given a green signal for India’s decision to revive option of Haj pilgrimage through sea route also and officials from both countries will discuss on all formalities and technicalities so that it can be re-started in coming years.
He also stated that the Muslim women of India have been allowed to travel for Haj without a 'Mehram', or a male guardian.
A bilateral agreement was signed in connection with Haj 2018 during the meeting between Naqvi and Saudi Arabia's Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Muhammad Benten.
Naqvi met with Benten at his office in Mecca on Sunday for signing the annual Haj agreement.
A total of 1,70,000 Indian pilgrims are expected to travel for Haj in 2018.