Cong govt declares 90-min break for Muslim employees on Friday for Namaz in Uttarakhand; vote politics, says BJP

The Congress-led Uttarakhand government has announced the provision of a special 90-minute break to be provided to government employees from the Muslim community for Friday prayers, official sources said.
Cong govt declares 90-min break for Muslim...
India TV Politics Desk Dehradun December 19, 2016 13:35 IST

The Congress-led Uttarakhand government has announced the provision of a special 90-minute break to be provided to government employees from the Muslim community for Friday prayers, official sources said.

At a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Harish Rawat yesterday, it was decided that a special break from 12:30 PM till 2:00 PM will be given to the employees from the community, they said.

Rawat said that since most Muslims religiously offer Namaz, they deserve to get a fixed time officially for the purpose. 

However, the decision has not gone down well with the BJP which is in opposition in the state with the party’s spokesperson Nalini Kohli on Monday questioning the Uttarakhand government’s move, charging the government with indulging in vote-bank politics.

“What if Hindu community says it needs two-hour break for Shiv Puja on Monday or on Tuesday for lord Hanuman or on Sunday for Sun god,” BJP’s Kohli said. 

The government however defended its decision saying it was taken keeping in mind the problems faced by the Muslim community.

 

“We have cleared this proposal not to woo the Muslim voters in view of upcoming assembly polls in the state. The decision was taken keeping in mind the problems Muslim employees face while balancing their duty hours and namaz timings,” Rawat was quoted by Times of India as saying. 

 

 

Kohli added that the move showed that the Harish Rawat-led Congress government in the state was “willing to go to any limits for the sake of votes”. 

This decision was among 12 others approved by the cabinet which included, among others, a nod for implementing the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations with effect from January 1, 2017 and imposing a penalty of Rs 2 crore and Rs 2.5 crore for PG doctors for violating the bond of 5 years with the state for essential service.

 
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