By Abdul Bari Masoud,MM News,
New Delhi: Lambasting a section of media for its highly partisan role in the elections, Minority Affair Minister K Rehman Khan said on Wednesday that the Congress did not take offensive stance against the CAG’s speculative report on 2G and coal blocks allocation issue that gave opportunity to opposition to malign the government and media played its part in this. On his ministry’s achievements, he said linking the minority welfare to planning commission is a major achievement.
Trashing the exit polls, he exudes confidence that the Congress will do well in the elections. In an exclusive interview he told to Muslim Mirror that in order to create a ‘Modi brand’ in the elections, a section of media hijacked the democracy and did not give space to contrary point of views. He was critical of the media saying it has pushed the democracy in peril. He admitted that the party lost momentum when 2G spectrum and coal block allocation scandal came to fore. However, the party went into defensive mood for the smooth functioning of parliament, he added that CAG reports were mere speculations and not indictment. “Where is 1.76 lakh crores rupees, who gobbled up as these were mere presumptive losses”?
He insisted that there has been no corruption in either of the two (scams), it is a policy matter and CAG made loss estimates based on some presumptions, but the party failed to make the point forcefully during the campaign, and even before. “We could not make the point because we were not allowed to make a statement in Parliament to clarify the government’s position… It was a pressure tactic and we succumbed to it,” he added.
Because of this, a wrong impression created in the people that the government is corrupt. On the exit polls, he said he was hopeful of the Congress getting 110-120 seats but there is no getting away from the fact that the party failed to take on the rival camp on corruption and also on Modi’s Gujarat model. “BJP and Narendra Modi went to these polls on the development plank and they said Gujarat model is the way to go. We did not do enough to puncture that balloon.”
“There are many people in the party who, like me, feel we could have fought a better battle,” he said. On his home state Karnataka, Rehman Khan hoped that the Party will do better this time and get majority of seats.
On minority welfare schemes, he frankly admitted that he was not satisfied with the achievements of his ministry as it cannot get passed the Equal Opportunity Commission and Waqf (Unauthorized occupation) eviction bills despite approved by the Union cabinet. However, he said for the first time after independence that minority welfare has been linked to the Planning of the country. In the 11th five year plan 7,000 crores were earmarked and in the present 12th five year plan, it was enhanced to 17,000 crores. Despite a fledgling ministry of just seven-year old, the minority ministry has made its impact felt it. He, however, suggested that there is a need of change in the system as for fast track of implementation of minority welfare schemes.
When asked he has any apprehensions that new government may scrape the minority ministry, he said the ministry should be saved as it provided a structure to minority welfare. “We won’t close our eyes and keep a tab on the government”, he quipped.
While admitting that Muslims were not happy with the UPA government for not getting passed the Communal Violence Bill, he said he made an all out efforts for its passage. On witch-hunt of Muslim youths on the suspicion of terror, he said he represented the matter with the Prime Minister and the party leadership but in vain as the law and order is a state subject. Rehman Khan said under the prevailing circumstance, terrorism has been linked to Muslims.