THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Confusion prevails in the UDF over the minority scholarship issue with the Congress and Muslim League leadership having differences of opinion.
After Muslim League leader E T Mohammed Basheer criticised the stand of Opposition Leader V D Satheesan, the latter was forced to change his stand and stated that the Muslim community has got a raw deal at the hands of the LDF government.
The state government on Thursday had decided to restructure the minority scholarship ratio in accordance with the 2011 population census. The High Court had struck down the 2015 state government order allocating the scholarship for minority communities to Muslims and Latin Catholic Christians and Converted Christians together in the 80:20 ratio, stating the ratio was legally unsustainable.
On Friday, Satheesan had said in Kasaragod that the Muslim community had experienced a loss. He retracted his statement at Kottayam on Saturday. When Basheer raised the issue, Satheesan went back to his old stand. The Muslim League leader said that with the High Court verdict, the Sachar Commission's recommendations which were entrusted to address the issues prevailing among the minority community had been struck down. He said it is a huge loss to the Muslim community.
"It was the V S Achuthanandan government which came out with the 80:20 ratio. This is wrong. Muslim students should have got 100 percent rights. This is what the High Court had overruled. Now what needs to be done is to correct the stand in the minority scholarship issue," said Mohammed Basheer.
He also added that the stand of the Muslim League is very clear in the scholarship issue. He said it is doubtful whether Satheesan has clearly understood the isuur or not. He also urged that Satheesan should understand the crux of the issue.
Within minutes of the Muslim League leader's statement, Satheesan met the media yet again and elaborated the party's stand. He informed that the next UDF meeting will take up the minority scholarship issue. He urged the LDF government to seriously consider the Muslim League's demand.
"The existing ratio on the scholarship has to be maintained and a new scheme has to be brought forth for other minority communities. Unfortunately, the LDF government has not held any talks with the Opposition. It should be recalled that the exclusive scheme earmarked for the Muslim community has been taken back which shows that they have lost what was there for them before," said Satheesan.
The Muslim League fears that with the new verdict by the High Court, their existing ratio will come down to 60 from 80. As per the cabinet decision, the state would restructure the ratio based on the 2011 census with no eligible communities losing their due share.