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BJP to resist minority funds

New Delhi, Dec. 18: The BJP will oppose special funds for the minorities in the 11th Five Year Plan on the ground that this amounts to “communal budgeting”.

The subject may come up at tomorrow’s National Development Council meeting, which is expected to approve the 2008-13 plan. The BJP says the meeting’s agenda paper speaks of earmarking 15 per cent of the welfare funds for the minorities.

BJP president Rajnath Singh has asked party chief ministers to fight any “overt or covert move to incorporate communal budgeting”.

The party, however, cannot block the move since its allies do not support its stand against fund allocations on the basis of religion. So, no effort has been made to consult non-BJP National Democratic Alliance chief ministers such as Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik or Parkash Singh Badal.

However, the BJP must be seen to oppose the move because of the compulsions of its anti-Muslim politics.

The party has been agitated ever since the Prime Minister spoke of the 15 per cent funds quota after the Sachar Committee report revealed Muslims’ plight across the country.

“We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development. They must have the first claim on resources,” Manmohan Singh had said.

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