Hyderabad, Dec 3 : Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr.N.Kiran Kumar Reddy today said the Congress Party alone was secular and a friend of minorities in the state and the country.
The party takes care of the welfare and overall development of the minorities, particularly Muslims, the Chief Minister said in a meeting after felicitating him by the various muslim associations during the Indiramma Baata at Madarsa of Phadi Sheriff area (Maheswaram constituency) in Ranga Reddy district.
The organisations have felicitated the Chief Minister for the announcement of separate commissionerate for minorities earlier. Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Minister said education can only change the lives and future of the people, particularly minorities. The state Government was giving utmost priority to the education of the weaker sections, women and minorities.
About Rs.28,000 crore was being spent for it this year, he said that due to the 4 per cent reservations by the Congress Government, about 30,000 muslim students passed engineering while 1,000 muslim students could become doctors, he claimed. The Chief Minister said his Government enhanced budget the to Rs.489 crore for minorities this year as against Rs.180 crores which was the budget at the time of his assumption of charge.
During the TDP regime, only Rs.30 crore budget was allocated for the minorities welfare and only Rs.2 crores as scholarships for 17,000 students, but his Government extended Rs.230 crores to 1.5 lakh students as scholarships, he claimed. The Chief Minister said in the recent Southern India Chief Ministers' Meeting, he had requested the Union Finance Minister and on his request Chidamabaram directed the bankers to provide 15 per cent loans to the minorities as per the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Home Minister Ms.Sabita Indra Reddy , Minister Prasad Kumar, several MLA, MLCs, Muslim minorities leaders participated in the meeting.