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In an outreach to Muslims, Centre will launch a new programme

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Published on 28 Sep 2016 1:42 PM GMT

In an outreach to Muslims, Centre will launch a new programme
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New Delhi: In an outreach to the Muslim community, the Centre will launch a new programme, Progress Panchayat, in Muslim-dominated areas in the country. The first meeting under the programme will be held at Mewat in Haryana on Thursday.

The programme is aimed at educating the community and bringing it to the main-stream. Certain grievances of the community will be also addressed at the Panchayat. There is a proposal to solve some of the problems facing that area in the shortest possible time.

The Panchayat has Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stamp as only on Saturday he had, speaking in Kerala, said that the community had been treated as a vote-bank and provided a lip-service. The time has come to change all this and do something new.

Elaborating about it a government official said, "the government does not want to call the programme, Muslim Panchayats, since it is a move aimed at resolving issues that hinder the community’s progress."

Muqtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister for Minority Affairs who will oversee the programme told media persons, “This is unlike any schemes in the past. This is not for votes. We will reach out and try to deliver solutions like schools, nursing homes and hostels for girls right at the spot.

The programme is seen by the opposition as an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party to bring a large number of community members to the party’s fold.

Assembly elections are to be held in five states including Uttar Pradesh where 18 per cent of the voters are Muslims early next year. The party wishes to send a message to the community through the programme that it is its well-wisher and friend, these parties believe. “ The attempt is just to win them over," a Samajwadi Party leader said.

The next two Progress Panchayats will be held in Rajasthan and Maharashtra, which, like Haryana, are BJP ruled states.

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