Hyderabad: AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday accused the government of India of neglecting Muslims and demanded that Narendra Modi tell how many of them got government jobs, including in central paramilitary forces.
He said despite the prime minister’s 15-Point Programme expressly stating that all efforts would be made to increase the share of the minorities in central government jobs, little was done about it.
“CRPF, CISF, ITPB, they all come under central government. You (the BJP) have been in office for the last four years. The prime minister loudly claims he would like to give Quran in one hand and computer in the other. So, what have you done (for Muslims) in the last four years?
“In the last four years, under central sector, whether banks, whether railways, central paramilitary forces….How many recruitments of minorities have taken place?” Owaisi told reporters.
Earlier, addressing an event, the Hyderabad Lok Sabha member rattled off figures about the presence of “very few” Muslims in central paramilitary forces. Claiming that the NDA government had done nothing substantial for granting employment to Muslims in central government undertakings, he said, “CRPF, CISF, ITPB…public sector banks… these are all under the central government. I challenge the Government of India and the BJP government to please issue data.”
Owaisi claimed the current NDA dispensation discontinued the practice of issuing data on minorities in government jobs.
“You see the website of Ministry of Minority Affairs where data on how many from minorities, including Muslims and Christians, got jobs in various government departments. It used to be given till 2013,” he said.
He rejected Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s purported claim that the share of Muslims in central government jobs had increased under the NDA government. Owaisi said a media report had claimed there was “not a single” Muslim in the elite National Security Guards (NSG).
When a journalist sought to suggest that the recruitment to central armed police forces was done on merit, Owaisi insisted pluralism was the ethos of the country which needed to be reflected everywhere. The AIMIM leader claimed the Department of Personnel and Training had in a 2007 circular said a Dalit, a member of the Schedule Castes and one from a religious minority will be on the selection committee wherever 10 people or more were to be recruited to ensure adequate representation of minorities in government jobs.
“So, please give data. What is wrong in that? That is what we are asking. This is part of 15-point programme. I have every right to ask,” he said.
When asked about the purported comment made by Rahul Gandhi that the Congress was a party of Muslims, and the prime minister’s response to it, Owaisi slammed both.
“The most unfortunate thing which has come out of the recent controversy of Muslims not being part of this party or that party….statements of the Congress president and the prime minister….What is the message you are sending to Muslims?
“That we will not care about you, we are going to marginalise you…..that the usage of Muslim word will lead to polarization….it’s a dirty word. This is 14 per cent of the population. How can you treat them like this?” he said.
Owaisi said both the Congress and the BJP were “pandering” to the majority community vote and “indulging in polarisation”.