To add more to the Hajj from this year, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of Minority Affairs, announced today that Saudi Arabia has increased the Indian quota by 5,000. This is the second hike in 2 yrs taking the number of pilgrims from the country to 1,75,025.
It is a record expansion since Independence said Naqvi.
The increase in the quota will be effective from this year. Saudi Arabia last year increased India’s quota by 35,000. In 2017, the Haj quota was 1,70,025.
Naqvi attributed the increase to PM Narendra Modi’s ‘growing popularity’ and India’s improved ties with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations under his leadership.
He also thanked the custodian of the two holy mosques, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud and the Saudi government for the increase in India’s quota.
Also, Naqvi announced on this Sunday that pilgrims can perform Hajj via sea route from this year onwards. And even women above 45 yrs can travel without ‘mehram’.