Exempt minority education from RTE

A day after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi met Muslim clerics in Uttar Pradesh, a delegation of party leaders from Uttar Pradesh led by general secretary Digvijay Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday to plead exemption of minority education from the purview of Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Another delegation of 35 Muslim MPs, cutting across party lines and led by Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson K Rahman Khan, also met the PM to demand enhanced allocation for schemes related to their community in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Congress leaders from UP, requesting the PM to exempt minority education from the ambit of the Right to Education Act, said since minority education is covered under the Constitution, the same needed to be exempted from the RTE.

The delegation also requested the PM to release the payment of madarsa teachers pending for 2 to 3 years.

“We met the Prime Minister for a solution to this problem and the Prime Minister has given directions to the HRD Ministry and the Finance Ministry to give the payments immediately,” he said.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) office-bearers on Sunday had met Rahul and demanded exemption of madarsas from RTE Act. Sources said Rahul told them that the matter would be discussed with the Centre.

Meanwhile, the delegation of Muslim MPs requested the PM to form a separate Standing Committee on Minority Affairs as only a consultative committee exists under the Rural Development Ministry at present. The MPs rued that the State did not properly utilise the funds related to the Muslims.

The MPs also requested the PM to invite them in official meetings related to their community. Sources said the PM assured the delegation that a committee of concerned Secretaries would look into their demands.


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