Kolkata: Nearly 1.4 crore backward Muslims
in West Bengal would be issued OBC certificates under the
reservation policy for poor people of the community after the
state cabinet approves the decision on September 22.
The policy decision has been taken and it awaits approval
of the Cabinet on September 22, Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee on Sunday said while inaugurating a Haj
House-cum-Empowerment Centre at Kaikhali near Kolkata Airport.
"If SC and ST population can come under reservation, why
not the minorities like Muslims?" he said adding that the
state government was encouraged by recommendations of the
Ranganath Mishra Commission in this regard.
The Rs 10-crore Haj House is the second of its kind in
the state after the one situated near Park Circus in the city,
which made West Bengal the only state to have two Haj Houses
for the benefit of Haj pilgrims, he said.
Bhattacharjee said there was need for such a facility to
cater to the growing number of Haj pilgrims in the state.
While 1,410 pilgrims went to Haj in 1985, the number rose to
10,272 in 2010.
Built by the state government`s PWD department, the
G-plus-seven-storeyed building can accommodate pilgrims for
three months during the pilgrimage to Mecca.
During the remaining nine months, minority beneficiaries
would be given vocational training there by the Aliah
University, he said.