Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the increase over the past two years, of nearly 40,000, is a “record expansion” since Independence.
New Delhi: The government on Tuesday stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has increased India’s Haj quota by 5,000, the second hike in two years, taking the number of pilgrims who can perform Haj from the country to 1,75,025.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the increase over the past two years, of nearly 40,000, is a “record expansion” since Independence. The increase in India’s quota will be effective from Haj to be held later this year. Saudi Arabia last year increased India’s quota by 35,000. In 2017, the Haj quota was 1,70,025.
The minority affairs minister attributed the increase to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “growing popularity” and India’s improved ties with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations under his leadership.
“It is a record expansion after Independence. The Modi government has been fulfilling the socio-economic, religious needs with honesty, without appeasement politics,” Mr Naqvi told agencies.
“Three years ago, during the Congress regime, India’s Haj quota was about 1,36,020, which has been increased to a record 1,75,025 in the past two years,” he added.
He said about 3.55 lakh people have applied for Haj this year, adding that for the first time Muslim women will go to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion).
More than 1,300 women have applied to go for Haj without “Mehram” and they will be exempted from lottery system and allowed to proceed for Haj.