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West Bengal demands 10 percent reservation for Bengalis

08, Feb 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

Kolkata. Left Front government in the West Bengal has demanded 10% blanket reservation for Bengalis all over India. The demand was raised in a press conference organized by Chief Minister and CPM leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who along with his party, believes that West Bengal has become a backward and poor state in the last 33 years, and Bengalis now needed reservation in all government and private jobs and educational institutes.

“The data speaks for itself. West Bengal has lost on almost all development indices and parameters in the recent years. State is even trailing behind its neighbor Bihar in GDP growth as well as in being the favored destination by the industries for investment. All reports indicate that West Bengal is fast becoming a backward state.” Chief Minister made a strong pitch for reservations.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee signals after announcing reservations for Bengalis
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee signals after announcing reservations for Bengalis

CPM, the leading partner of the Left Front government in the state, also demanded that a fresh census should be carried out to find out how many Bengalis were recruited by the various state governments and private companies in the recent years.

“There is a clear bias against Bengalis among industries and the other states. Bengalis used to be a prosperous and jobful (sic.) community in Bihar and Orissa for decades, but not any more. We have a report that clearly points out that Bengalis have been discriminated against by various companies. The report recommends 10% reservation for Bengalis all over India.” Buddhadeb distributed a handout containing recommendations of a certain Rangeela Commission among the journalists.

The West Bengal government, especially the CPM, has suggested that all Bengalis be declared as OBC in light of these findings and should be provided the benefits of the reservations. But legal experts believe that the demands of the West Bengal government might be untenable and open a can of worms.

“Did anyone ask the Bengalis what they wanted? And this could give ideas to other political parties looking to win elections. Did I say Maharashtra?” Abhash Kashyap, a legal expert expressed his concerns.