A delegation of minority communities has vowed to submit to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani "one lakh" petitions listing their demands which were signed by members of various religious groups as part of a month-old campaign. Prominent demands include setting up of Minorities Affairs Ministry in Gujarat and implementation of the prime minister's new 15-point programme. To mark the culmination of a month-long minority rights campaign on Valentine's Day tomorrow, the delegation, to be led by Minority Coordination Committee, an NGO, will also offer roses to Rupani, its convener Mujahid Nafees said today. Other demands include separate financial provisions in the state Budget 2018-19 for minorities, setting up government higher secondary schools in areas dominated by particular minority community, a policy for rehabilitation of internally displaced persons by natural disaster and communal violence, Nafees said. "As part of our month-long minority rights campaign which ends tomorrow, we will hand over one lakh petitions signed by individuals belonging to religious minority groups, including Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and Jains, to the chief minister. We will also offer him roses," said Nafees. He claimed minorities living in the BJP-ruled Gujarat are highly discriminated against by the state government despite their share in the total population exceeding 11 per cent. The delegation will also meet Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani and will insist that members of opposition parties raise questions related to the development and protection of 80 lakh minorities in the upcoming Assembly session. "We will also appeal to MLAs to press for our demands in the House.
If the government fails to take action on our demands, then we will run a state-wide campaign to fight for our rights," Nafees said. He said the Minority Coordination Committee is yet to receive a formal confirmation regarding their appointment with the CM tomorrow despite repeated reminders. "But that will not prevent us from going ahead with our programme," he added.
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