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Hemant sops for minorities by Feb. 15

Ranchi, Jan. 5: Chief minister Hemant Soren today promised to resolve all major problems faced by minority communities in Jharkhand by February 15, apparently to keep the state’s 16 per cent population in good humour ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Racing against time to showcase something tangible before the model code of conduct for the general polls comes into effect, Hemant said his government was working towards reconstituting Waqf Board and Jharkhand State Minority Development Finance Commission.

“I am aware that the poll code will be imposed in the next two months or so and my hands will be tied. So, I don’t want to talk big and loud here. It is high time for us to do something concrete for needy people,” the chief minister said.

Hemant was speaking at an event organised by Jharkhand chapter of All India Momin Conference, a national forum of weavers’ community, to discuss issues concerning the minorities.

“After prolonged fights, secular forces have ultimately come together and we want to fulfil aspirations of the people, including minorities,” he said.

The chief minister added while certain problems had already been resolved, work was on to settle other issues as well. Also, he appealed to members of the Momin community to recommend names of suitable candidates to run Waqf Board.

Speaking on the occasion, state executive president of the Momin conference Manzoor Ahmad Ansari stressed the need to implement recommendations of Ranganath Mishra Commission and Sachar Commission.

He demanded that a larger share of the Multi-sectoral Development Programme funds be utilised for educating minority communities.

This apart, appointment of Urdu teachers and financial aid for madarsas were among his other prominent demands.

On this, state health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh said, “All these issues are already under consideration and the chief minister is doing his best to meet the demands.”

Ministers Chandra Shekhar Dubey, Mannan Mallick, Yogendra Sao and Haji Hussain Ansari and senior Congress leaders Sukhdeo Bhagat, Subodh Kant Sahay and Furqan Ansari were also present.

Sources said Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh and Congress general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand B.K. Hariprasad, during a meeting in the state capital yesterday, had categorically asked Hemant to take firm steps to consolidate secular vote bank.

But, at today’s event, Hemant fell short of going all out to appease the minorities, as well as his ally. “He is not the one to succumb to pressure tactics. The Congress cannot take him for granted like Madhu Koda,” said a senior JMM leader.


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