Minister of state for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is on a mission to connect directly with the minority communities
Ahead of the Delhi elections, the Modi government is planning an “empowerment” conclave to reach out to minorties at Tijara, around an hour away from the Capital. The minority affairs ministry, which is taking the initiative, is inviting leaders of all minority communities, chief ministers of Rajasthan and Haryana and elected representatives of the area for the meet to be held later this month.Tijara, on the Rajasthan-Haryana border, is in Alwar district and falls in the Muslim-dominated Mewat region. With a minority population of around 70 per cent, Mewat is among the 90 minority concentration districts identified by the government, where the socio-economic indicators are below the national average. Minister of state for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is on a mission to connect directly with the minority communities with a message that the Modi government was taking steps to ensure their economic, social and educational development. The exercise, being undertaken amidst a storm over “ghar-wapsi (reconversions), is aimed as part of government’s efforts to gain the confidence of the minorities.Though Naqvi has already visited two districts in Kerala as part of the mission and will be going to Telangana, the Tijara meet is being held in a big way, sources said. Several Muslims from Mewat are based in Delhi, where elections are expected mid-February. Mewat district was insulated from the Modi wave, which had swept Haryana during the assembly polls last year with the BJP losing all its seats– Nuh, Ferozepur Jhirkha and Punaha.During his visit to Kerala, Naqvi met some religious leaders, including Bishops, who expressed concern about the conversions issue, sources said. Besides explaining the government stand on the issue, Naqvi is trying to ensure that the government schemes are implemented by state governments and reach the beneficiaries.The programme was undertaken as the government was concerned about the lack of awareness among the minorities about central schemes meant for their uplift. The controversy over conversions and the comments of hard liners within the Sangh Parivar, emboldened by a BJP-led NDA government being in power, had added to apprehensions among the minority communities.Naqvi would also convey the message that the government was focusing on development of all.