Muslim poverty may bite Modi at NDC meet
At the 2007 NDC meeting to discuss the Eleventh Plan, Modi had openly hit out at the prime minister’s 15-point programme for minorties, demanding that it be dropped “in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of the nation”. He subsequently never implemented the Centre’s scholarship scheme for minorities.
Now the Twelfth Plan document, which will be the subject of discussion at the NDC on Thursday, shows Gujarat in a poor light when it comes to lifting Muslims above BPL in both urban and rural areas. To address this, the Plan calls for direct targeting of minorities to be made a pre-condition for disbursal of funds — a concept Modi has vehemently opposed, terming targeting of population on lines of religion “anti-contitutional”.
“According to the latest Planning Commission estimates, the poverty ratio for Muslims was 33.9 per cent in urban areas, especially on account of states such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and West Bengal. In rural areas, the poverty ratio for Muslims was very high in states such as Assam, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat,” says the Plan document in its chapter on social Inclusion, which is part of the section on social sector.
Using the Tendulkar Committee’s methodology,