Uttar Pradesh to count Muslims in local bodies

Lucknow, Aug 13 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has decided on a head-count of Muslim employees in local bodies and municipal corporations to increase their participation at senior levels, an official said Tuesday.

This decision was being taken to ensure "more participation of minorities at senior and responsible positions in the government," an official of the local bodies directorate said.

The local bodies director, in a letter, has asked city commissioners and executive officials to enumerate the list of minority officials and other employees posted in their respective areas.

Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan had recently aired his displeasure at the lack of proper representation of Muslims in plum posts and in the civil services.

He had questioned the selection process and had asked what was the reason that Muslims were not able to make it to the top in the bureaucracy.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday reacted sharply to the government move and slammed it as being "outrightly communal".

BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the move "was divisive, communal and aimed at dividing the society".

"This is a very shocking thing. This government is pursuing a communal agenda to garner votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls," he said.

He said that as the state government has failed on many fronts, it was now resorting to such tactics aimed at dividing the society.

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