Over 80 per cent of the 38,154 applicants from Kerala in the government sector will not be able to go for Haj this time as the State has been given only 6,784 seats out of the annual quota. The share was decided based on the Muslim populations of the States and not on the proportion of the number of applicants from each of them.
The State Haj Committee is now concerned that those wishing to make use of the discretionary Haj quota have been asked to apply directly to the External Affairs Ministry, overruling the traditional practice of making the State Haj Committee distribute the seats. The discretionary quota comprises additional seats regularly given by the Ministry to the State, through the State Haj Committee till last year, besides the annual quota. Most number of applications for Haj comes from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. The Karipur airport is the sole embarkation point for the pilgrims from Kerala, Lakshadweep and Mahe, which makes Kozhikode the nerve centre of all activities related to the pilgrimage from the State.