Sharad Pawar supports Muslim reservation demand

By Abdul Hameed,,

Mumbai: In an apparent move to get sympathy of India’s second majority community before the coming Lok Sabha elections, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has supported the demand that Muslims in Maharashtra should be given reservation along with Marathis.

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He was addressing a gathering of Ulemas at Jamia Qadria Ashrafia in Nagpada, Mumbai yesterday. The meeting was called to provide Muslims an opportunity to interact directly with Sharad Pawar and put their demands before him.

Pawar demanded equal reservation of Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions on the basis of backwardness and poverty adding that their children should be imparted free education.

“Muslims should fight for reservation keeping with them other minorities also. When all the minorities would be given reservation Muslims will get their due as per their population,” he said. Noticeably he has already asked the Congress-NCP government to include Marathas in the OBC category so that they benefit from reservation.

While declaring the terrorism by majority community a serious concern, Pawar said Hemant Karkare fell prey to a very big conspiracy. He said when he came to know of dangerous intentions of Sanatan Dharma organization through its posters and literature during a journey, he resolved at the time to make a special police team to investigate its activities and its network. “I appointed Hemant Karkare as the ATS chief who unveiled the Hindu terrorists,” he said. “After the arrests of Muslim youths in connection with blasts at Ajmer Dargarh, Jama Masjid Delhi, Malegaon Qabrastan and Hyderabad Makkah Masjid I wondered why Muslims were attacking their own religious places and properties.’

He assured the community leaders that innocent Muslims youths would not be harassed in the name of investigations into either communal riots or terror acts. He also criticized media and said that it played a big role in making Muslim community suspicious.

On the occasion the Ulemas presented a memorandum to Sharad Pawar. In the memorandum various issues such as immediate implementation of Shri Krishna Commission, reservation for Muslims in government jobs and educational institutions and handing over Ismail Yusuf College to any Muslim NGO were included.

Sharad Pawar was accompanied by former chief minister and president of NCP Maharashtra R R Patil, president of NCP minority department Habeeb Faqeeh, national general secretary advocate Majeed Memon and others.