The party rejected the report on Muslim backwardness presented by Asaduddin Owaisi demanding the assistance for just 9,000 Muslim families.
The Congress on Thursday rejected the new report on Muslim backwardness presented by AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi demanding Rs. 10 lakh poverty assistance for each of 9,000 Muslim families, and claimed that more than 5 lakh Muslim families were eligible to get the assistance.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Political Affairs Committee Convener and former minister Shabbir Ali claimed that more than 5 lakh Muslim families were eligible to get Rs. 10 Lakh each on par with the dalit families being covered under the Dalit Bandhu scheme.
"Ever since the launch of Dalit Bandhu, the Congress has been demanding a Minorities Bandhu, and a similar payment of Rs. 10 lakh each for all poor Muslim families. Instead of accepting our demand, Owaisi and KCR have hatched a plan to cheat the Muslim community of Telangana. They've used the data compiled by a Commission of Inquiry in 2015-16 and manipulated it to show that of the 8.80 lakh Muslim households in Telangana, only 9,000 Muslim families are eligible to get a Minorities Bandhu benefit," he alleged.
Shabbir Ali said that the Centre for Development Policy and Practice (CDPP), an NGO, had come up with a report "Situating Development of Muslims in Telangana - Policy Implications". The entire report was based on the data collected by the Commission of Inquiry headed by retired IAS officer G Sudhir in 2015-16. Speculative and misleading analysis was done in the report to show that only 1% of the Muslims were poor.
"This report was prepared only to deny the Muslims, the benefit of a Minorities Bandhu which KCR is yet to announce," he said. "It is claimed in the report that the Muslim population in Telangana is 48.30 lakh and that there are 8.80 lakh Muslim households. It is also claimed that only 8.5% of the Muslims households are living Below Poverty Line. Therefore, a 'policy recommendation' was made that 1% of these poor Muslims households, i. e. 9,000 households, should be given Direct Cash Transfer of Rs. 10 Lakh each, which will cost the state government only Rs. 900 crore.
"Asaduddin Owaisi lives in a palace in Vattepally, Shastripuram. If he conducts a survey in the slums of Vattepally, then he will find more than 9,000 poor Muslim families just there. Owaisi got 5,17,471 votes in the 2019 elections. If we convert this into households at the rate of 6 voters per family, then nearly 86,245 families voted for him. Is he saying that that except 9,000 families, the remaining families, 77,245 of them, are not poor and don't need the DBT benefit?" he asked.
Shabbir Ali said that there was a huge mismatch between the actual data, and the analysis and policy recommendation. He said that the Sudhir Commission, in its report, had pointed out that 43% of Muslims were living in rented houses. "Are those poor Muslim families living in rented houses not eligible to get a Rs. 10 lakh assistance?" he asked.
"The Congress rejects this report, and demands that all BPL families, belonging to the SC, ST, BC, minority and other communities, be extended benefits on par with those of the Dalit Bandhu scheme. We are not begging the government. We are demanding an equal and deserving share, as per the Constitution. We will explore all legal means to get justice for the minorities and other communities," he said.