This Article is From May 10, 2012

Kerala regrets Centre rejecting plea for higher Haj quota

Thiruvananthpuram: Kerala has expressed disappointment over the Centre rejecting its request for raising the state's Haj quota by determining the number of pilgrims to be flown to Mecca on the basis of total number of applicants from each state.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty urged the Centre to increase this year's Haj quota by at least 10,000 if it had difficulty in changing the norms suddenly.

The copy of the letter had been forwarded to Union Cabinet Ministers from the state and the Central Haj Committee Chairperson Mohsinal Kidwai.

Under the existing norm of deciding each state's quota on the basis of population only a fraction of the total applicants from Kerala would be able to perform the pilgrimage, he said.

This year, a record 49,868 people had applied to the state Haj Committee. A vast majority of them would not be able to go to Mecca under the present system of awarding state quota based on population, Mr Kunhalikutty said.