by Muslim Mirror Staff
The Congress party has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting the reinstatement of reservation quotas and travel allowances for Hajj pilgrims.
“Even the dream of Muslims wanting to go on a Haj pilgrimage has faded away,” said Naseem Khan, Working President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
“The central government was giving concessions to Haj pilgrims but the BJP government at the Centre has reduced the quota of Hajj pilgrims and increased the cost of the pilgrimage,” he said.
In a communication addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan, a former minister in the previous Democratic Front administration, expressed that individuals embarking on the Haj pilgrimage through the Central Hajj Committee belong to economically underprivileged and impoverished backgrounds.
“Till 2019, 2 lakh people were sent for Haj every year through the Central Haj Committee and the cost for them was less than Rs 2.9 lakh, including the cost of Qurbani and out of this amount, 2100 Saudi Riyal which is Rs 45,000 and one more VIP bag bag is given to the pilgrim,” he said.
He pointed out that starting from 2023, the Central Hajj Committee has diminished the number of Haj pilgrim slots to 150,000, while the Hajj Committee has raised the fee to INR 3.7 lakh, excluding the Qurbani amount.
“Those going through Nagpur and Aurangabad have to pay Rs 70,000-Rs 80,000 more than the cost of Hajj from Mumbai. This increased cost is unfair and hurts the general public of the Muslim community,” he said.
During the discussion with officials of the Central Hajj Committee, Khan highlighted that the committee lacks the authority to address these concerns, and the authority lies with the ministry. He emphasized that the Muslim community strongly believes that undertaking the Haj pilgrimage once in a lifetime brings immense value and purpose to their lives.
“Common Haj pilgrims are being looted by private companies as the central government has reduced the Haj quota,” he said while pointing out the issue of exorbitant airfares, highlighting the existence of a significant racket behind these inflated prices, resulting in the exploitation of Hajj pilgrims.