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BJP, JMM in face-off over grant to Jharkhand madrasas

Monday September 26, 2011 06:20:13 PM, IANS

Ranchi: A face-off between two ministers here over grant to madrasas in Jharkhand has strained the relations between two key ruling alliance partners in the state.

Haji Hussain Ansari, cooperative and social affairs minister and a senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader, has demanded the removal of Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Baijnath Ram. Ram belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Ram said last week that grant could not be provided to 519 madrasas, a statement that irked Ansari enough to demand his removal from the cabinet.

Muslim organisations Monday took out a protest rally in Ranchi, demanding Ram's ouster.

"Providing grant to madrasas is a financial matter. We cannot provide grants without verifying the parameters of the grant," Ram told reporters Monday.

Ansari claims that in Bihar these madrasas were provided grant, but since the formation of Jharkhand this grant has not been given to them.

Reacting to the statement, Ansari said: "Ram has made an irresponsible statement. Grant was provided to madrasas in Bihar."

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda of the BJP has tried to play down the controversy by saying the madrasas will be provided grant as per the law.

The BJP formed the government in Jharkhand last year with the support of 18 JMM legislators. The BJP has 19 legislators in 82-member assembly.




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