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West Bengal Chief Minister rules out reservation for religious minorities

West Bengal Chief Minister rules out reservation for religious minorities

Author: Bureau Report
Publication: Zeenews.com
Date: January 14, 2009
URL: http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-01-14/498482news.html

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Monday ruled out any reservation on the basis of religion, saying such a quota was not possible.

"Reservation based on religion is not possible," Bhattacharjee told a delegation of the National Commission for Minorities, led by its chairman Md Safi Quereshi.

Quereshi earlier said that the state's minorities demanded reservation during an interaction with the Commission yesterday.

The commission chairman was talking to reporters after the delegation met the CM as part of its visit to assess the status of minorities in the state.

Asked about the Commission's views on reservation for the minorities, Quereshi said, "It's a policy matter. I can't say anything without discussing it with the Centre."

Quereshi said that the Chief Minister also told the delegation that Muslims should not feel isolated even if the minorities were not facing any crisis other than some socio-economic problems in the state.

However, the state government was trying hard to solve all their problems and upgrade their social and economic status through various development programmes and opportunities for employment, Bhattacharjee told the delegates.

During its visit, the Commission interacted with minorities, including Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Muslims and reviewed the problems faced by them.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Minorities Affairs and Madrasah Education Abdus Sattar said that taking in view of the socio-economic problems of the minorities, the state government has earmarked Rs 400 crore in the budget.

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