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“Congress, DMK garner minority votes through welfare schemes”

Special Correspondent

Pon. Radhakrishnan leads protest to include Hindu students in scholarship schemes

— PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Demand:BJP State president Pon. Radhakrishnan staging a demonstration in Coimbatore on Sunday to demand Central pre-matriculation scholarship for students of majority community too.

COIMBATORE: The Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) cannot accuse the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of being communal when they try to garner the votes of minorities through welfare schemes that leave out deserving sections in the majority community, State president of the BJP Pon. Radhakrishnan said here on Sunday.

Leading a demonstration by his party to demand Centrally-sponsored pre-matriculation scholarship for Hindu school students also, Mr. Radhakrishnan said there were poor students in all communities. Therefore, any scholarship or other forms of assistance for education should not be limited to students of a few communities.

Mr. Radhakrishnan rejected the argument of the Congress and its ally, DMK, that five prominent minority communities (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis) were being covered under the scheme.

While the others were limited in number and present in very few areas, Muslims and Christians were spread across the country in substantial numbers. Therefore, this scheme largely benefited them. Though there were many poor students among Hindus, this scheme was not being extended to them.

Besides, norms relating to the distribution of scholarship were not being followed. Scholarships were being given to more than the prescribed number of students.

A massive demonstration would be staged in Kanyakumari on June 25 to demand the inclusion of poor students among the Hindus.

Some parties asked whether the BJP still existed in the State. But, the response from the public to its protests over the rise in prices of essential commodities and fuel only pointed at its strong presence, he claimed.

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