The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM breathes Sachar fire

New Delhi, Sept. 24: The CPM today attacked the United Progressive Alliance for its “hesitant” approach towards the uplift of Muslims, saying the Centre’s “tokenism” on the Sachar Committee proposals was strengthening communal forces.

Brinda Karat, a member of the CPM politburo, voiced fears that the recommendations might be buried.

“Between the BJP’s vicious anti-minority campaign and the UPA government’s tokenism, the Sachar committee recommendations are getting jettisoned,” she said.

The CPM dubbed the UPA’s record on implementing the proposals “disappointing” and said the Manmohan Singh government lacked the political will to push ahead with them.

“The government’s record is extremely disappointing in implementing the recommendations on education and credit for Muslims,” party MP Mohammad Salim, who addressed the media with Brinda, said.

On education, the Centre hasn’t fulfilled the promise made in last year’s budget that 20,000 scholarships would be offered to Muslim students, Salim added.

“This is a serious matter as it makes a mockery of the government’s attitude towards the committee’s recommendations,” he said.

The leaders demanded immediate steps to implement the suggestions, saying the lack of progress was apparent in the replies given by the minister for minority affairs to questions in Parliament’s monsoon session.

“Neither has a time frame been set to implement the programmes (recommended for the minorities), nor is there any indication of financial allocation,” Salim said.

The CPM leader spoke of “serious omissions” in the follow-up action. “There is, for instance, no mention of the steps being taken to ensure justice for victims of communal violence,” he said.

He added that the government had also not responded to the demand for extending reservations to Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians.

The CPM leaders described the BJP’s opposition to the Sachar recommendations as shameful and accused the party of trying to harm social harmony.

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