State Haj Committee chairman Inayat Hussain Qureshi told reporters here, "At present, the quota given for pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh is based on 2001 census. However, the state's population has increased to 7.26 crore as per 2011 census. Hence, the Centre should grant the Haj quota as per the latest census."

"This year, 21,000 pilgrims applied for Haj pilgrimage. But since the state's quota is 3,000, the Haj committee had to keep the remaining 18,000 applicants in waiting list," he said.

According to Qureshi, the construction of 'Haj House' in state capital Bhopal is near completion and efforts are being taken to construct a similar house here.

"The 3,000 pilgrims will begin their journey for the 'Haj pilgrimage' from today and this year there will be 11 flights from Indore and Bhopal," he added.

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