Reservation for Muslims up in West Bengal

Reservation for Muslims up in West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday,24th Sept 2010, announced increased reservation for Muslims clubbing them with Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the State from the existing seven per cent to 17 per cent.

While one section called ‘more backward’ would get a 10 per cent reservation, the other section classified as ‘backward’ would get seven per cent quota. Of the 56 groups under ‘extra backward’ category, 49 belong to the Muslim communities

CM said a notification has been issued to reserve government jobs under this policy which also classified the backward classes into two separate groups. This move takes reservation up to 45 per cent in West Bengal. Around 3.15 crore people constituting 39 per cent of the State’s population are under OBC classification.

The sub-grouping has been done based on a sample-study conducted by the Anthropology Department of the Calcutta University. The study pertained to a survey of 1.1 lakh households.

On the timing of the announcement, Mr. Bhattacharjee said at a press conference: “It is merely coincidental. This has no connection with the (ensuing) elections; we have done this from our social obligation”.

The Chief Minister said that while the certificates would be given from Monday, following the official decision, block-level camps would be organised by the State Government on October 8 and 11 to take the decision to the people while also distributing certificates.

“Reservation is not the only solution, we have to create equal opportunities,” he added.