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Modi’s big minority outreach: PM tries to win Sabka Vishwas after bitter elections

FE Online
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The Ministry of Minority Affairs on Monday announced that it will provide various scholarships to 5 crore students in the next five years to ensure educational empowerment of minorities, especially girls. “This includes more than 10 lakh Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarship in the next five years for economically weaker sections,” the government said in a statement. It also informed that schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, girl s hostels, Gurukul type residential schools, common service centers are being constructed under Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karykram in those areas where these educational infrastructure has not been developed yet.

The Centre’s new scholarship policy to ensure socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities is seen as the onset of delivering on its ‘Sabka Vishwas’ promise and outlines the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in achieving it in the next five years. Soon after he was elected as the leader of the NDA after a historic mandate, Prime Minister Modi in the central hall of Parliament urged all the newly-elected MPs to work for all and win the trust of minorities.

The remarks were seen as a direct message to leaders who made certain unwarranted references to Muslims in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls. The Prime Minister made it clear that all elected leaders are for everyone those who voted for the BJP and even those who did not. Political analysts believed that it was directed at former BJP minister Maneka Gandhi who during a rally in Sultanpur had said that she would definitely win with or without Muslim votes but would be happy if she gets their votes. However, she sparked controversy when she said that if Muslims did not vote for her, she would think twice before doing any work for them.

She wasn’t alone in making such remarks against Muslims during the Lok Sabha elections. Another BJP leader and now a minister in the government, Giriraj Singh, had said that those who cannot chant Vande Mataram or cannot respect the motherland, the nation will never forgive them. Earlier this month, Giriraj Singh made some remarks against Nitish Kumar for joining Iftar party and asked him why he did not organise such an evening meal during Navratri. He was later pulled up by Amit Shah.