The Congress party on Thursday rejected the new report on ‘Muslim backwardness’ presented by AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi demanding Rs. 10 lakh assistance for poor 9,000 Muslim families and claimed that more than 5 lakh poor Muslim families were eligible to get the assistance.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Political Affairs Committee Convener and former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir, in a media statement on Thursday, claimed that more than 5 lakh poor Muslim families were eligible to get Rs. 10 Lakh each on par with Dalit families who are being covered under the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme. “Ever since the launch of Dalit Bandhu, Congress party has been demanding ‘Minorities Bandhu’ and payment of Rs. 10 Lakh each for all poor Muslim families. Instead of accepting our demand, Asauddin Owaisi and CM KCR have hatched a plan to cheat the Muslim community of Telangana. They’ve used the data compiled by a Commission of Inquiry in 2015-16 and manipulated it to show that out of 8.80 lakh Muslim households, only 9,000 Muslim families are eligible to get the ‘Minorities Bandhu’ benefit,” he alleged.
Shabbir Ali said that the Centre for Development Policy and Practice (CDPP), an NGO, came up with a report “Situating Development of Muslims in Telangana – Policy Implications’. The entire report is based on the data collected by the Commission of Inquiry headed by retired IAS officer G. Sudhir in 2015-16. Speculative and misleading analysis was done in the report to show that only 1% of the Muslims were poor. Although the report was authored by three other persons, eminent personalities like Amitabh Kundu, G. Sudhir, Amir Ullah Khan and others were invited to the meeting to mislead the people. “This report was prepared only to deny the Muslims, the benefit of ‘Minorities Bandhu’ which CM KCR is yet to announce,” he said.
It was claimed in the report the Muslim population in Telangana was 48.30 lakh and there are 8.80 lakh Muslim households. It also claimed that only 8.5% of Muslims Households are living Below Poverty Line. Therefore, a “Policy Recommendation” was made saying that 1% of these poor Muslims Households, i.e., 9,000 households should be given Direct Cash Transfer of Rs. 10 Lakh each which will cost State Govt only Rs. 900 Crore.
“Asaduddin Owaisi lives in a palace in Vattepally, Shastripuram. If he conducts a survey in the slums of Vattepally, then he will find more than 9,000 poor Muslim families. Asaduddin Owaisi got 5,17,471 votes in 2019 elections. If we divide this into Households @ 6 voters per family, then nearly 86,245 families voted for him. Is he saying that that except 9,000 families, the remaining 77,245 families are not poor and they don’t need DBT benefit?” he asked.
Shabbir Ali said that there was a huge mismatch between the data, analysis and policy recommendation. He said that the Sudhir Commission, in its report, pointed out that 43% of Muslims are living in rented houses. “Are those poor Muslim families living in rented houses not eligible to get Rs. 10 Lakh assistance?” he asked.
“Congress party rejects this report and demands that all BPL families, belonging to SC, ST, BC, Minorities and other communities be extended the benefit on par with ‘Dalit Bandhu’ scheme. We are not begging with the government. We are demanding an equal and deserving share, as per the Constitution. We will explore all legal means to get justice for the minorities and other communities,” he said.