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After rows, government to woo minorities with 'Mission Empowerment'

After rows, government to woo minorities with Mission Empowerment

New Delhi: After a raging controversy over conversions and reconversions issues, the government is set on a mission to woo the minorities across the country where implementation of central schemes relating to them would be reviewed at the ground level.

The scheme - " Mission Empowerment", will see Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi visiting Kochi in Kerala on January 3 to have a ground-level assessment on implementation of schemes for the minorities.

Under the mission, the government aims to ensure social, educational and economic empowerment of minorities across the country as also to help infuse confidence among them (minorities) after pro-Hindutva outfits have been talking loud on reconversions.

Naqvi, however, termed the mission as one without any political agenda and only aimed at further empowering the minorities, who are a sizeable number in the country.

"There is no political agenda under the mission. We believe in 'Sabka saath, Sabka Vikas' and we will ensure minorities' schemes reach the beneficiaries," Naqvi said.

The Minister is slated to visit various states before the Budget Session of Parliament in a bid to see at the ground level the implementation and difficulties in the schemes for minorities.

The government, sources said, have identified 100 districts across the country for a review of such schemes and discussions with various state governments have already taken place with the Centre.

"There have been positive discussions with various states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telanagana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, besides North Eastern states and states have given a positive response on implementation of the schemes," Naqvi said.

He said after Kerala, he will visit Telangana and thereafter other states before the Budget Session.

Naqvi said it is a "challenge" for the NDA regime to ensure that schemes for minorities are implemented properly and the benefits reach the real beneficiaries for whom the schemes have been enumerated.

"It is a challenge for this government to see proper implementation of schemes for minorities. Many schemes have been announced by previous governments but their implementation has been poor. And, the condition of minorities in many states is far from satisfactory," the minister said.

"This is the first time ever that any minister is visiting ground zero to assess ground realities with the cooperation of states for schemes pertaining to minorities," a ministry official said.

Sources said government feels that the pro-Hindutva remarks made by certain BJP and RSS leaders have infused a sense of "insecurity" among minorities even as reconversions across the country are continuing.

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