Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh on Friday said the government’s decision to annul the Maulana Azad National Fellowship was an “anti-minority and anti-education” move, which jeopardises the idea of right to education.
The MP from Kerala raised the matter in Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, which received support from leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Revolutionary Socialist Party MP N.K. Premchandran.
Chowdhury said that “it is sheer discrimination of the minority community of the country”.
While speaking on the issue, Suresh said that the decision to cancel the scholarship, which was started by the union ministry of minority affairs, is an insult to Maulana Azad and disregards all the freedom fighters and their memories of sacrifice.
“The decision would make higher education inaccessible to the under-privileged students from minority communities, and it has a national impact as the scheme covered all institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission.
“The anti-minority sentiment behind the decision is evident, and the Union minority affairs minister Smriti Irani told the Lok Sabha that the Maulana Azad National Fellowship was overlapping with other schemes under which the minority students were also covered. The excuse defies logic as any overlap can be identified by linking the Fellowship with Aadhaar or other universal documents,” Suresh said.
The Congress MP sought restoration of the scholarship.
Ever since the Winter Session of Parliament started last week, several MPs cutting across party lines have raised the matter and sought the restoration of the scholarship.