Kolkata: With an eye on the Muslim vote bank
in poll-bound West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee on Sunday said his government had given a lot of
opportunities to the community in education and job sectors.
Admitting the Muslims did have some problems, the Chief
Minister said, "We have ensured 10 per cent jobs in the
government for the Muslim community".
"Our three-point programme for alleviating the problems
of the Muslim community are higher education, work for Muslims
in the government sector and opportunities for them in other
sectors," Bhattacharjee said at a convention of Madrasa
teachers and workers at Rabindra Sadan here.
Referring to the Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar Committee
report that made uncomfortable remarks on the condition of
minorities in West Bengal, the CPI (M) leader said the
government knew of the problems before the report had been
"Sachar Committee did not open our eyes, our eyes were
open already. We were aware of the problems."
He also alleged the Centre did not take any action on the
Sachar report and Ranganath Mishra Committee report. "The
Centre has sat on these reports, it talked of a 15-point
programme, but has done nothing."
With a large section of the Muslim community apparently
turning away from the Left since the Panchayat elections in
2008, the Left has been desperately trying to woo them back to
The Left government has since then made a string of
announcements for them -- from setting up Alia University and
Aligarh Muslim University`s Murshidabad unit to providing job
and vocational openings.
Bhattacharjee also criticised the US for allegedly
meddling in the affairs of Libya and Iraq, saying "there may
be problems, but it is for the people of these countries to
decide their fate and future."
"Their main concern is oil and not the interest of the
people of these countries," Bhattacharjee added.