India’s quota of Haj pilgrims increased: Naqvi

New Delhi: India’s quota of Haj pilgrims has increased and India now sends the second highest number of pilgrims for Haj after Indonesia, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday.

Naqvi was replying to an issue of public importance raised by DMK leader TR Baalu. Baalu questioned why the ferrying point of Haj pilgrims has been changed from Chennai to Kochi in Tamil Nadu.

“The ferrying point should not be shifted from Chennai International Airport to Kochi, which is 700 km away from Chennai. Chennai International Airport is being used as an embarkation point by the pilgrims coming from Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, South Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” Baalu said raising the issue.

In reply, the Minority Affairs Minister said, “Haj pilgrimage has not been done for the last two years during the pandemic period… Under the Modi government, the quota of Indian pilgrims to Haj has increased the most, and today, India sends the largest number of Haj pilgrims after Indonesia.

Naqvi said ferrying points have been reduced only in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Before Corona, there were 21 ferrying points which have now been reduced to ten, which include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar,” he said.

“Our intention is that all who want can undertake the Haj pilgrimage,” said Naqvi.

In response to a question by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Madrasas, Naqvi said there are around 28,590 registered Madrassas in the country and there are around One lakh 47 thousand teachers in them.

He added that funds for Madrassas have been approved based on the recommendation of Madrassa boards of different states. (UNI)

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