Malegaon: President of Malegaon Congress Party Asif Shaikh Rasheed on Tuesday said while records showed Muslims getting minimum advantage from the government schemes announced for them, it is the BJP which reaps maximum benefits by using these schemes as a tool to polarize votes in its favour. ”Neither Muslims, nor the Congress, it is the BJP which gets maximum benefits from the government schemes announced for Muslims”, Asif Shaikh Rasheed said during a meeting with Rahul Gandhi in Nagpur. Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is on a two-day visit to Maharashtra. He is meeting delegations from different parts of the state in an attempt to strengthen the party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, and the assembly elections later in the year. ”In most of the cases schemes announced for minorities either lack in practical implementations, or they do not suite the Muslim community. But their announcements are made in such a way and they are publicised in such a manner that the BJP gets a chance to use them as a tool to polarize voters in its favour, and against the Congress”, he added. Asif Shaikh cited the example of the recent announcement by the Maharashtra government to grant special funds to Madrasas. “The scheme is practically not feasible as a huge majority of Madrasa are opposed to taking any money or grant from the government. But, as soon as the government announced this scheme, Shiv Sena and BJP were up-in-arm against the Congress government, accusing it to be pro-Muslims and anti-Hindu”, he said. ”What’s use of such schemes that neither benefit the people they are meant nor the Congress party”, he said, requesting Rahul to have a mechanism for proper consultation before finalising any scheme.
The Madrasa grant scheme recently announced by the Maharashtra government is facing stiff opposition not only from the Muslim community but also from the right wing Hindutve parties. Whle the Muslims feared that government will interfere with the Madrasa education if they took any money, Shiv Sena and BJP leaders termed it yet another case of Muslim appeasement.