Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has said at the National Development Council meeting today that a key stipulation in the 11th Plan that earmarks 15 per cent of targets and outlays under various development schemes and programmes for the minorities should be reviewed “in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of the nation”. “Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for flow of funds based on minority status, will not help the cause if taking the people of India together on the path of development is the aim,” Modi said.
Questions: Should the minority status of beneficiaries be taken into account as the Centre maintains? Or is Modi right in contending that only the socio-economic status of beneficiaries should be the criterion? In the interests of uniform application of rules, should the Centre decide how the programmes should be implemented? Or should the implementation be left to the discretion of participating States? If socio-economic status is used as a parameter for the minorities, shouldn’t it be for the majority, too? Or is Modi playing a kind of votebank politics just like the UPA?