In a move that is being termed as yet another instance of minority appeasement, the West Bengal government has issued a directive to the district inspector of schools to send names of government-run and government-aided institutions with over 70 per cent minority students.
The Trinamool Congress-led government has sought these names in order to construct dining halls for mid-day meals. The circular, issued by the Cooch Behar district magistrate office (minority section), also mentions that instruction for such a measure came from the State Minority Affairs and Madrasa Education Department.
Attacking the state government's move, Bharatiya Janata Party state president Dilip Ghosh took to Twitter to call the decision "discriminatory".
1.2 Why this discrimination between the students on the basis of religion? Is there some other malafide motive behind this segregation?— Dilip Ghosh (@DilipGhoshBJP) June 27, 2019
Another conspiracy ?
Gias Uddin Mollah, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express that the state is also going to construct hostels for institutions that have 70 per cent or more minority students.
"Funds have been allotted and we are utilising it by issuing such a circular. We are not doing anything extra for the minority students as funds for such measures have been given to us by both the state and central governments," he said.
The Mamata Banerjee government has for long been attacked for minority appeasement by the opposition in the state.
According to post-poll studies conducted after the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, 70 per cent of the Muslim community in West Bengal voted for Mamata's Trinamool Congress. Muslims form around 30 per cent of the total population in the state.