It was Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi versus the Planning Commission on issues relating to minority affairs with the former challenging the figures provided by the commission on Muslims in the state. During the stormy meeting on Friday, where Plan panel deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia was also present, Plan size for the state has been finalised at `38,000 crores, a jump of `8,000 crores from previous financial year (2010-11).
Despite accepting that Gujarat has done extremely well on the economic front, the Plan panel made an all out effort to corner Mr Modi by highlighting poor performance of his government in implementing Right to Education (RTE) and more so in the case of children belonging to the minority community.
In its brief at the meeting the Plan panel alleged that the “enrolment of Muslim children” has shown a perceptible decline at lower and upper primary level.
“As against the Muslim population of 9.06 per cent in the state, the number of these children in primary schools in Gujarat is only 6.5 per cent in 2009-10,” it said.
Claiming that even the state capital, Gandhinagar, has shown a “decline in enrolment of Muslim children” at the upper primary level, the panel suggested that the state “needs to give” more attention to enrolment of “minority girls” under Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas scheme.
Countering the Plan panel’s figures on “Muslim children”, Mr Modi is learnt to have questioned the source of the commission’s statistics. Asian Age