By S A H Rizvi
The Times Kuwait
After eight years of successful stint in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Modi, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi resigned as Union Minorities Affairs minister yesterday as his term as Rajya Sabha Members will expire on Thursday
Minister for Child Welfare Smriti Irani has been allocated Minority affairs as an additional portfolio.
Naqvi took over as Minister of State in the Minority Affairs in 2014 and was elevated as Cabinet Minister in 2016. He was also made the Deputy leader of BJP in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) in July last year. He was Member of Rajya Sabha for three consecutive terms that reflects his stature in the party,
Credited to have streamlined the Minority Affairs ministry with his deft planning and hard work, Naqvi was instrumental in making the Haj operations transparent and streamlined through digital interface. His tenure saw the removal of Haj subsidy as ordered by the apex court and this he could achieve without ever increasing the cost of Haj to ensure even the poor can afford.
Naqvi said despite the haj subsidy being withdrawn no additional financial burden on Haj pilgrims was a proof that transparency and commitment to delivery has exposed the wrongs that had gone for years in the name of Haj subsidy
The then minister said significant reforms done by the Modi Government in the entire Haj process have made the pilgrimage completely transparent and the Indian Government has made arrangements so that there was no unnecessary financial burden on the Haj pilgrims who will be performing Haj after two years.
Mr Naqvi said that 100 per cent digital/online Haj process has fulfilled the dream of “Ease of Doing Haj” for Indian Muslims. The digital/online Haj process is one of the best examples of “Digital India”.
Says former Haj Committee Vice president H B Kazmi that for the last eight years Haj operations has been totally digitialised , no complaint of any nepotism because of the ministry transparent operation”. Mr Naqvi ensured the Hajis get best of treatment, easy facilitation and easy passage by adding more exit points from India, he added
This year over 81,000 Indians are performing Haj after the two years ban due to Covid pandemic. The entire process of Haj has become seamless.
Besides the Haj operation, Naqvi is also credited to have given platform for the Indian craftsmen to showcase their art and crafts by organsing Hunar Haat all over the country, Not only the craftsmen were given free tickets and allowance, the Hunar Haat would provide a platform to them to sell their products and display their art in front of huge audience.
The popularity of Hunar Haat can be gauged by the fact that Prime Minister Modi visited the exhibition site in New Delhi last year unannounced and stayed there for an hour meetings the craftsmen, eating their traditional food and also bought a souvenir. Naqvi who was present at the Hunar Haat recalls that Prime Minister visit gave a great boost to this flagship project.
The Minority Affair ministry also ran several scholarship schemes for the minorities students besides setting up universities.
There are reports Naqvi may get an important assignment in lieu of his dedicated service to the party