Kerala, the state with the highest number of Haj applicants in the country has requested Central Haj Committee to allot extra quota to accommodate maximum applicants seeking pilgrimage under reservation category during this season. For this, Committee will have to reallocate vacant seats, from the quota of other states to Kerala. 
 

With the number of persons applying under reservation category going up every year, the Haj Committee is finding it difficult to ensure accommodation for applicants in first chance. 
 

Authorities are supposed to divide 1, 25, 025 seats among states, and the seats are allocated according to 2011 population census. Though Kerala has the highest number of applicants, it has only 5.15% seats, counting to 6, 439 seats. This amounts to less than half the number of candidates under reservation category. This season as many as 10, 771 persons above 70-years have applied under reservation category alone. 
 

Kerala will need another 4, 332 seats to accommodate these applicants in the first round. A total of 20, 896 persons has applied for Haj, at the national level, during this season. Apart from Kerala, there are applications from Maharashtra and Gujarat. 
Last year, Central Haj Committee allotted an extra 4, 910 seats to state considering the high number of applications. 
 

Usually, candidates from Kerala are transferred to reserve list, but for the past three years, there was 20% reduction in the number of reserved candidates. However, allocation of extra quota helped to offset allocation. But this year, there is an increase in the number of applicants from other states, and it is likely to affect the chances of pilgrims from Kerala.