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'Planning Commission meet with Muslim MPs first ever in history'

Monday March 28, 2011 08:42:55 PM, Staff Reporter

Malegaon: The only Congress MP from Bihar, Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi on March 27 claimed that the meeting which the Planning Commission had with the Muslim members of Parliament in the last week was the first ever in the Indian history.


"The meeting that we had with the Planning Commission on March 24, 2011 was the first ever in the history of the independent India", Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi said to and termed it as a positive step towards addressing the issues facing the minorities.


"Otherwise", he added, "Till now, the leaders were fooling the Indian Muslims by inviting their MPs in some functions and giving them a place somewhere on the stage."


Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, who is known for his record-keeping, was speaking to after addressing the congress party workers  yesterday in Malegaon.


"Though it is the customary for the Planning Commission to invite suggestions and arrange meetings with different people and groups before finalising country's five-year plan, never before it felt the necessity to invite Muslim MPs and discuss their issues ", he said.


The planning commission, reporting directly to the Prime Minister of India, was established on March 15, 1950, with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as the chairman. The first Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965, when there was a break because of the Indo-Pakistan Conflict. Two successive years of drought, devaluation of the currency, a general rise in prices and erosion of resources disrupted the planning process and after three Annual Plans between 1966 and 1969, the fourth Five-year plan was started in 1969.


Maulana Qasmi was referring to the meeting that the Muslim MPs led by K. Rahman Khan, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, had with Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia on March 24 to discuss the initiatives to be taken in the 12th five-year plan for the welfare of the minorities. 


The meeting also discussed changes in approach towards minority welfare schemes for their effective implementation and to devise a mechanism to monitor the minority welfare schemes so that the benefits actually reach at the block/town level rather than district level.


The Muslim MPs also demanded that under the light of Sachar Committee report, proper allocation of funds and effective implementation of various schemes meant for the minorities should be included in the 12th Five Year Plan.


The 20 Muslim MPs, who attended the meeting are Syed Azeez Pasha, E. Ahmed, Mohd. Shafi, Ali Anwar Ansari, Kesar Jahan, Tabassum, M. A. Khan, Mohd. Azharuddin, M. A. Madni, G. N. Ratanpuri, Salim Ansari, S. D. Shariq, Mohd. Amin, A. S. Malihabadi, Mohd. Adeeb, S.K. Saidul Haque, Sabir Ali and Maulana Mohd. Asrarul Haque Qasmi.







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