Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid released the ‘Minority Declaration’ of Telangana Congress for Assembly Elections. The declaration focuses on various issues concerning the minority community in the state.
In terms of financial upliftment and empowerment, the declaration suggests conducting a caste census within 6 months to ensure fair reservation for all backward classes, including minorities, in jobs, education, and government welfare schemes. It also proposes increasing the minorities welfare budget to Rs.4,000 crore and establishing a dedicated minorities sub-plan. Additionally, Rs.1,000 crore per annum would be provided to facilitate subsidized loans for jobless minority youth and women.
The declaration also emphasizes the commitment to education and employment equity. It introduces the Abdul Kalam Taufa-e-Taleem Scheme, which would provide financial assistance of Rs.5 lakh to Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and other minority youth upon completing M.Phil and Ph.D degrees. Furthermore, it offers financial aid of Rs.1 lakh for post-graduation, Rs.25,000 for graduation, Rs.15,000 for intermediate, and Rs.10,000 for 10th grade.
To protect religious rights and culture, the declaration proposes a monthly honorarium of Rs.10,000 – 12,000 for priests from all religions, including Imams, Muezzins, Khadims, Pastors, and Granthis. It also suggests amending ‘The Telangana State Minorities Commission Act, 1998′ to make it a permanent body and table its annual report in the state legislative for suitable changes to policies regarding minorities’ welfare. Digitizing land and property records of the Waqf Board and reclaiming encroached properties are also part of the proposal.
In terms of infrastructure and welfare, the declaration aims to provide house sites and Rs.5 lakh for constructing houses for all houseless minority families under the Indiramma Indlu Scheme. It also suggests providing Rs.1,60,000 to newly wed couples of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and other minorities. Additionally, revitalizing SETWIN and skill development training and transforming Quli Qutub Shah Development Authority (QQSUDA) to develop infrastructure in the Old city are part of the declaration’s objectives.