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Seven Indian Americans win in Lexington elections: US

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Washington: Seven Indian American candidates out of total eight who ran for local elections in Lexington city in the US state of Kentucky have won.

With this, now there are a total of 12 Indian-Americans elected members of the Lexington Town Meeting, India New England News reported on Wednesday.

“This movement is historic. Great result despite heavy turnout because of presidential elections which tends to favour known contestants and incumbents,” Narain Bhatia, a long-time Lexington resident and community activist, said.

The winners of Lexington elections include Sharmila Mudgal from Precinct-3 for one year term, Anoop Garg from Precinct-4 gets a three-year term, Pam Joshi and Rita Pandey gets three-year term each from Precinct-9 and Precinct-5, respectively.

Anil Ahuja from Precinct-5, Vikas Kinger from Precinct-7 and Nirmala Garimella from Precinct-8 got one year term each.

The only Indian-American candidate to lose in the election was Hema Bhatt in Precinct-9.

“Hema Bhatt lost but got 375 votes and lost by just 36 votes while beating Scott Burson, a long-time town meeting member and former School Committee member by 76 votes,” Bhatia said.

In addition to the winners in Tuesday’s elections, Indian-Americans have five current Town Meeting members whose term is not over making a total of twelve.

These sitting members are: Narain Bhatia, Ravish Kumar, Sanjay Padaki, Dinesh Patel and Syed Rizvi.(IANS)

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Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS

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