Mumbai: The Central government’s decision to scrap Haj subsidy evoked a mixed response from different political parties. While some believe that the money saved should be utilised for the socio-economic development of the community, others said it was an ‘undemocratic’ decision. This government want to show the others that they are not favouring the Muslims.
Nawab Malik, a spokesperson of Nationalist Congress Party, said that it was not for the pilgrims but it was for Air India to reduce its losses. “The subsidy procedure was a scam that was used to subsidise Air India. The money didn’t really go in the bank accounts of the pilgrims and they got better facilities at a lesser price when they travelled through private operators,” said Malik.
“The government also announced that the subsidy amount will be used for the education of the Muslim girls. That is a myth, the government is not keen to implement the high court’s order about the reservation for Muslims in education,” Malik added.
Congress MLA Ameen Patel said that it won’t affect the Muslims as they are not depending on the subsidy. “It will not affect the Muslims or benefit the community. But the government have to reduce it phase-wise as the Supreme Court ordered,” said Patel.
Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi said the government’s decision is in favour of Quran as the Quran says that the Haj yatra should not be sponsored by others’ money. “But the issue is that is the government is going to cancel all subsidies for other religions too?” he asked.
“The decision of cancelling subsidy for Haj pilgrims should not for targeting the Muslims. The government has to invite global tenders for pilgrims and the lowest bidder for flying to Haj (Saudi) should be awarded the contract for flying India to Saudi with Haj pilgrims,” he suggested.
But former minister Naseem Khan targeted the government over the decision. “The government is trying to make political mileage from the decision. If the government really wants to uplift the Muslim society, then they should have to implement reservation in the education sector,” he said.