Bihar govt relaxes office timings for Muslims, BJP cries PFI link

BJP says Hindu government employees should also get similar relaxation during Ramnavami.

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By: Santosh Singh | New Delhi
Updated: 18 March, 2023 2:27 pm IST
The order says it will remain effective for every year during Ramzan.

The Mahagathbandhan government on Friday allowed relaxed duty hours for Muslim government employees during Ramzan in Bihar, kicking up controversy over what BJP called “the politics of Muslim appeasement”.

In an official order, Bihar’s general administration department said that government employees and officials from the Muslim community can join the office one hour before and leave it one hour before the scheduled time during the holy month.

“The government permits Muslim employees and officials to come to the office one hour before and leave it one hour before the schedule for their convenience during the month of Ramzan,” the order reads.

The order will remain effective for every year from hereon, it added. It also instructed senior officers to make necessary changes in the biometric attendance system to facilitate the attendance of Muslim employees.

Taking a strong view of the relaxation, the main Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) launched an attack on the ruling Janata Dal-United (JDU) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), accusing them of providing the relief on the behest of banned Popular Front of India (PFI).

“It has happened for the first time. If Muslim employees can be given relaxation for Ramzan, why Hindu can’t be extended a similar facility during Ramnavami?” asked Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal.

Speaking to reporters in Patna, Jaiswal said, “During Ramnavami, Hindus start their puja in the early morning which lasts for many hours. Why should not they also get similar relaxation? Favour to any community is not appropriate.”

“This makes it clear that this government, which was formed in August last year, is the government of people linked to PFI. This order indicates that government officers are working as PFI agents,” the BJP leader rued.

The order was issued by the general administration department’s principal secretary B Rajender. In the order, the officer said that the decision to give relaxation to Muslim employees in Bihar was first taken in the order in the year 2000.

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