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Mamata announces sops for Muslims


Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, unveilinging scholarships and sops for the state’s minorities, Saturday accused the previous Left government of sowing confusion by announcing a “hurried and erroneous” quota in government jobs for Muslims.

Addressing a programme organised by the West Bengal Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, Banerjee declared that loans totalling Rs.82 crore will be given this year to the minorities, besides scholarships and stipends worth Rs.122 crore.

“This year, 7.5 lakh minority students will get loans for studies. Next year, we will raise this figure to more than eight lakh students,” Banerjee told the gathering at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here.

She said 7,200 Anganwadi centres will be set up in areas which which have a large concentration of minorities.

“We will build 37,300 houses under Indira Awas Yojna in those areas. We have also plans of building 5,000 houses for minorities in Kolkata only,” said Banerjee.

Banerjee alleged that the previous government created a lot of confusion regarding the introduction of 10 percent reservation in government jobs for the 53 backward classes among Muslims and vowed that her new government will fix up the problem.

“Vote is a big compulsion. They (Left Front) did that reservation system in haste and it is full of errors. As far as I know, the governor has not signed it till now. Nobody has got any benefit from that till now as it is full of errors. We will also look into that thing.”

“We will fix it up in a new way so that you people get the benefit. You all have to keep faith on the new government. We will not desert you,” said Banerjee.

The Left Front government had implemented the Ranganath Mishra Commission’s recommendations and introduced 10 percent reservation in government jobs for the 53 backward classes among Muslims.

As a result of the expansion of the other backward classes (OBC) list, currently, of the 2.02 crore Muslims in Bengal, 1.72 crore have been classified as OBCs, amounting to over 85 percent of the total Muslims in the state.