Follow us on
Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Regional
Expectations high as a non-Muslim heads Maharashtra Minorities Ministry
As opposition leader, Khadse had batted for rights of minorities, taken to task the govt. over handing of Wakf land to Ambani on throw-away price
Sunday November 2, 2014 11:04 PM, Staff Reporter

Defying the speculations that a Muslim or a Jain will be inducted as a minister to head the Minority Development Department and Awkaf in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Sunday allocated the ministry, introduced by the Congress-led government, to Eknath Khadse.

Eknath Khadse

Khadse as Leader of Opposition had batted for the rights of minorities and taken to task the erstwhile Cong-NCP alliance government over the misuse of Wakf properties, especially handing over a Wakf land in Mumbai's prime location to business magnate Mukesh Ambani at a throw-away price.

Earlier, it was speculated that Pasha Patel, a senior BJP leader from Latur and the Muslim face of the Hindu right-wing party, will be given the charge of the Ministry of Minorities. It was also expected that the first BJP government in Maharashtra may have a Jain as the minorities minister.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, chose Eknath Khadse, to head the ministry formed for the development of the minorities.

The minorities, especially the Muslims, are not only surprised by the move but are eager to see how Eknath Khadse - a non-Muslim heading the Minority Ministry for the first time, will address the issues concerning them but kept pending and unaddressed by previous governments for years.

"It seems there is an unwritten rule that only a Muslim can head the Ministry of Minorities and Awkaf, though there was a feeling that a non-Muslim as a minister for department of minorities development will be in a better position to address their issues. Chief Minister Fadnavis has taken a surprising but pleasant decision by giving its charge to Eknath Khadse", said Aleem Faizee, Chairman of Noble Education & Welfare Society (NEWS) while talking to

He said the Muslims, who headed the ministry in the past, either at the centre or in the state, were just rubber-stamps and puppets, seemingly in an agreement with the government that they will not do anything for their community.

"There was a time when the Muslim ministers had influence over the government, and their views were taken care of seriously. But, in recent days, we have never seen a Muslim minister fighting for the rights of the minorities. They were all puppets, rubber-stamps and show-boys", he added.

He said, far from doing anything for the community, a Muslim minister in the previous Cong-NCP government actually incapacitated establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) centre in Maharashtra. He also accused the minister of misleading the government and then AMU Vice-Chancellor Prof PK Abdul Aziz on the matter.

Nabeela Farhat, a local activist, while welcoming the move said that she would be eagerly watch how Khadse handled the issues of the minorities, especially the Wakf.

"Khadse as opposition leader had raised the issue of Wakf misuse in Maharashtra and handing over of the Wakf land to Mukesh Ambani, many times in the assembly. It will be interesting to see how he tackles the issue now since he is in-charge of the ministry", she said.

The minority affairs ministry was introduced, both at the centre and in the state, by the previous Congress-led government in order to implement the recommendations of the Sacchar Committee. Dr. Mehmoodur Rehman Committee, formed by the earlier government, also highlighted various issues related to the Muslim community recommending that they needed urgent attention.

"We tirelessly fought with the previous Congress governments for Ismael Yusuf College land and other issues concerning the Muslims. They were also mentioned by Dr. Mehmoodur Rehman Committee in its report. Let's hope Eknath Khadse do something to resolve these issues", Dr. Abrar Rehmani said.

Working of the ministry and funds allocated to it were also major poll-agenda in the recently concluded elections and they were repeatedly raised by the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

MIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Telangana MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi both had expressed dissatisfaction with the 500 crore rupees allocated to the ministry. They said the budget was insufficient for the Muslims who constitute about 14% of the state's total population.


Share this page
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of
comments powered by Disqus
| Quick links
Contact us
Subscribe to: RSS » Facebook » Twitter » Newsletter Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.
© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.