Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh minister Mohsin Raza aksed "rich Muslims" on Saturday to give up Haj subsidy so that the poor and the needy could go on the pilgrimage. Raza also mentioned that unlike the rich, who have gone on Haj more than once, the poor find it rather difficult to perform the pilgrimage even once in their lifetime.
"The poor must get subsidy for Haj pilgrimage, and not the affluent ones. I appeal to the rich Muslims to give up their Haj subsidy so that the poor and deserving may get an opportunity to perform the religious activity," the minister of state for minority affairs told PTI. The Centre provides subsidy to Muslim pilgrims going on Haj by reducing airfares of the official carrier Air India. Every state has its share of Haj Quota in flight seats.
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"UP's Haj quota has been increased by 8,000 and today it is 29,000-odd seats," he said, adding the UP government would ensure that the deserving persons who don't have the means to go, get help to perform the Haj. "If a person is a multi-millionaire he should not seek subsidy, He should rather give up the subsidy, so that another genuine pilgrim could go. In this way, he would get double blessings. We are reviewing the rules and will soon take a decision soon," Raza said.
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A former Ranji-level cricketer and BJP spokesperson, Raza said that on the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many people had given up their LPG subsidy for the poor.
"I would make an appeal to the rich Muslims to do the same in case of Haj subsidy," he said. "We will bring transparency and honesty to the system under our government. It should not be like I have become a minister and I let only my family and relatives avail the subsidy and go on Haj," the minister said.
He said that by this, they would ensure 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' (together with all, development for all). Raza recently made headlines after he lost his cool at his office here after he spotted Azam Khan's pictures still on the walls and asked officials to realise a new government was now in place.
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Endorsing Raza's point of view, state BJP leader Mazhar Abbas, said, "The rich must consider to give up subsidy. In this way, they would earn real blessings," he said.