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 ummid.com 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 ummid.com 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.