Hyderabad: A Republic TV news bulletin claiming that the Congress has announced that if it wins the elections in Telangana, it will launch hospitals where only Muslims would be treated is going viral on social media.
The bulletin claims that Congress has sworn in its manifesto that Hindus and other religious groups like Sikhs and Buddhists will not be treated in these government hospitals and only Muslim doctors would be given special consideration for jobs.
Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami says, "The Congress had decided in its manifesto in Telangana that there must be hospitals in which only Muslims are admitted. So, if you are a Hindu, Sikh or a Buddhist, you cannot be admitted to an only-Muslim hospital and unless you are a Muslim then no doctor will see you. And regardless of what your condition is - whether you are in an emergency situation or not - if you are a Hindu then you will be told to get out of the hospital. That's the Congress party's plan… Only Muslim youth should get special consideration in jobs."
Claim 1: Hospitals only for Muslims.
The Republic TV video is not recent. It is from 11 December 2018. Arnab Goswami is talking about Telangana Congress' election manifesto for the 2018 Telangana Assembly elections that was released on 27 November 2018.
In the manifesto, Congress had announced that it would set up special finance corporations for the advancement of Minorities - Muslims, Christians, and other minority groups. However, in a statement issued under the Muslim Minority Finance Corporation, Congress had announced that minorities would mostly set up government hospitals in the areas. This promise to all minorities, along with points under the Muslim Minority Finance Corporation in the manifesto, was misreported by many news organizations as government hospitals being built only for Muslims. Nowhere in the manifesto did Congress announce that it would build special government hospitals only for Muslims.
Clearly, the claim is false.
Claim 2: Free power supply to only mosques and churches.
The manifesto states that free power will be supplied to temples, mosques, churches, and other places of worship in the state (Page 21).
Home minister Amit Shah once said that the Congress party had announced in its manifesto that it would provide free electricity to mosques, churches, and other places of worship except Hindu temples in the state. The Telangana Congress Party had tweeted on 2 December 2018 stating that the comments made by Mr. Shah were completely untrue. "Congress ideology is inclusive. Our manifesto covers BCs, SCs, STs and other minorities equally. Please read our manifesto in full before spreading fake news," the Telangana Congress had tweeted.
Claim 3: Imams of mosques will be given extra Rs. 6,000. Temple priests won't receive it.
The manifesto says, "Pujaris working in 643 temples will be given salaries on par with state government staff. Pujaris and staff will also get accident insurance and health cards." It further says, "Honorarium will be given to pastors and fathers on par with pujarais of temples and imams/moazan of mosques." (Page 54 and 89)
Claim 4: Scholarship of Rs. 20 lakh will be given to poor Muslim (minority) student for 'overseas education'.
The manifesto proposes Rs. 25 lakh assistance for students belonging to SC, ST, Minorities, OBC and other economically weaker sections for pursuing overseas education. (Page 35)
Claim 5: Residential schools for Muslims
The manifesto states that special residential schools will be established for girls belonging to minority communities (Page 53) but also includes provisions for visually-challenged people, tribal communities, and other minorities.
Claim 6: Action against religious discrimination.
According to the manifesto, "All kinds of discrimination on religious grounds in giving jobs in both public and private sectors will be stopped." (Page 53)
The provision in the manifesto does not refer only to Muslims. "Strict action will be taken against those who refuse jobs in the private sector to anyone on the basis of his/her religion," the manifesto states and mentions no specific religion.
Claim 7: Rs. 5 lakh will be given to Muslims for the construction of houses.
The manifesto states, "Eligible minorities will be given Rs. 5 lakh financial assistance for construction of own house." (Page 52)
Moreover, it also states, "For SC, ST families, Rs. 6 lakh will be given for the construction of their own house." (Page 12)
The party has also pledged the assistance of Rs. 5 lakh to eligible people for the construction of houses on their own land and Rs. 2 lakh assistance for construction of another room or other facilities to the beneficiaries of the Indiramma Housing Scheme.