Northeast not interested in minorities’ development: Heptullah

Guwahati, Jan 30 (IANS) The governments of the northeastern states were not interested in the development of minorities, union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah said on Saturday.

The minister made this remark after none of the concerned ministers of the northeastern states, except Assam, turned up at a review meeting of the cventral ministry held in Guwahati on Saturday.

“We decided to hold a review meeting of the ministry in Guwahati so that there is no difficulty of the concerned ministers from the northeastern states to come and attend the meeting,” Heptullah said at a press conference.

“However, none of the concerned ministers, except for the one in charge of Assam, attended the meeting today (Saturday). This indicates that the governments in the northeastern states are not interested in the developments of minorities,” she said.

Expressing concern over the situation, the minister said there was large chunk of minority population in the northeast including Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

“The governments in the northeastern states often talk about the minorities but they are not interested in the development of the minority people,” she alleged.

Heptullah said the states, particularly Assam, also do not send project completion reports, which creates problems in releasing funds as next installments or for future projects.

“I have been writing to the chief ministers of the northeastern states for a long time to ease these problems but there has been no response,” she said.

“The northeastern states, particularly Assam, often complain that the Centre does not release funds for development activities. I would like to mention here that it was only last week that my ministry sanctioned Rs.128 crore,” she said.

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