Muslims are still better off in Gujarat July 20 2013 In India, the minority population is merely a vote bank for most political parties. The BJP too tried to woo them. The party is projecting Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for general elections of 2014 and is likely to announce his name shortly. BJP intends to cash in on his popularity. As for those who try to tarnish Modiâ€™s image by accusing him of doing injustice to the minority community in Gujarat, it needs to be said that the condition of Muslims, both on economic and social fronts, is much better in Gujarat than in the rest of the country. According to the Sachar committee report, monthly per capita income of Muslims in rural Gujarat is Rs 668. This is Rs 24 higher than the same for Hindus in rural Gujarat (Rs 644), Rs 141 higher than the same for SCs (Rs 527), Rs 74 higher than the OBC figure (Rs 594) and Rs 115 higher than the per month per-capita income of Muslims in rural India (Rs 553). While in urban Gujarat, per capita income of Muslims is Rs 875 which is Rs 71 higher than the per capita income of Muslims in urban India (Rs 804). The Sachar committee, appointed by prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2005, was commissioned to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational condition of the Muslim community of India. According to the India Human Development Report, percentage of Muslim households in Gujarat with improved sources of drinking water facility is 97.7 %, which is 4.6 percentage points higher than that of the overall state average (93.1%) and 4.9 percentage points higher than that of all Muslim household in India (92.8.%). The literacy rate for Muslims in Gujarat is 73.5 percentage which is 8.7 percentage points higher than the national average Literacy rate (64.8%). Moreover, the Modi government has spent Rs 11,000 crore on Gujarat's Sagarkhedu Yojna for comprehensive development of the stateâ€™s coastal belt and Muslim fishermen are major beneficiaries. A new package of Rs 21,000 crore has been announced for this year also. Modi during his election rallies in across country will definitely show the real picture of Muslims' condition in Gujarat. If Gujarat's Muslims perform well, why canâ€™t those of the rest of country? In this yearâ€™s budget, finance minister P Chidambaram has allocated Rs 3,511 crore to the minorities affairs ministry, an increase of 12 percent over the last fiscal. The amount was enhanced even though the ministry failed to utilise the funds provided in the previous budget. This shows that the Congress-led UPA government only announces schemes and fund to attract minority votes. In spite of huge amount allotments for the minority community, they are still economically backward than other sections of society like SCs and STs at all-India level. But in Gujarat, the situation is the opposite, and the Muslims are better off than other sections. A comparison with Uttar Pradesh During Mayawatiâ€™s rule in UP, she demanded reservations for Muslims in accordance with the percentage of their population. After becoming the chief minister for the first time in 1995, she had made the provision of issuing certificates to Muslims under other backward classes (OBC) category for public services, and 38 economically and socially backward classes among Muslims are getting benefit of the OBC quota in UP. Her government was providing scholarships to Muslim students and established the Kanshiram Urdu, Arabi, Farsi University. Also Muslim girl students were included in Savitri Bai Phule scheme for promoting girl child education, in which every girl student of class XI is awarded with Rs 25,000 and a bicycle. The new state government led by Akhilesh Yadav will spend Rs 1,800 crore on development programmes in the minorities-dominated pockets during 2013-14. Thus, like the central government, the UP government has only provided subsidies to the Muslims and used them as vote banks, instead of not fulfilling their actual requirements. The people of Uttar Pradesh face a very bad law and order situation. They want good governance and local employment opportunities. Neither SP not BSP can fulfill the dream of the people of this state. But Modi can replicate Gujarat's example in terms of good law and order and progress in industry and agriculture in this state as also elsewhere. Now time has come to end to vote bank politics. The voters have to choose carefully their candidate and party in the interest of whole country during forthcoming general elections.