VIP culture in Hajj pilgrimage in India has ended: AP Abdullakutty

AP Abdullakutty. File photo: Manorama

Malappuram: BJP National Vice President and Hajj Committee of India Chairman A P Abdullakutty said that Prime Minister Modi had told him that only those who have the call of Allah might go for Hajj. Abdullakutty said during a press meet here on Friday that Modi gave this reply when he requested the PM for a few more seats from the VIP quota for Hajj pilgrims.

"This conversation has led to the end of VIP culture in Hajj pilgrimage from India," Abdullakutty said hailing it as an achievement in pilgrimage from India under his tenure. The BJP leader said that the Hajj committee was a hub of corrupt officers. When he took charge he had initiated a cleaning process in the committee to ensure a fair experience for the pilgrims.

"We had terminated the CEO and two deputy CEOs of the committee. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has appointed five persons on deputation from their office and we are running the committee under these officers. At present, we have no VIP quotas for the pilgrims. Prime Minister had initiated the process to end the VIP quota for the pilgrims by handing over the 100 quota he had to the pilgrims on the waiting list," Abdullakutty said.

The committee has also cut short the private quota for pilgrimage from India. He also justified the huge price difference from Kozhikode for the pilgrimage compared with the two other embarkation points from Kerala. The flight services for the pilgrimage are decided on inviting global tenders. The difficulty in operating wide-bodied aircraft from Karipur airport has led to the crisis, Abdullakutty added.

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