New Delhi: Muslims will hamper India’s progress if they "continue to languish in social and economic backwardness" and the Congress will be responsible for this, said Minority Affairs Minister A R Antulay on Saturday.
"We are all to be equally blamed for this sad state of neglect and I have no hesitation in owning up the responsibility of my own party and I apologise to the Muslims for the present state of affairs," he said in Aligarh.
Muslims, who form nearly 15 per cent of India's population, will become a "drag" on progress, Antulay was quoted by agencies as saying at a conference on minorities.
Minorities feared for their lives during communal violence and therefore must be given greater representation in police and security forces, he said.
The Centre "shortly intends to implement in toto all recommendations of the (Justice Rajinder) Sachar Committee", which had studied condition of Muslims.
"I want to make it amply clear that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are determined to implement all policies aimed at the uplift of the minorities in the country," he said at the conference, which was presided by Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Salman Khursheed.