Reservation: OBC category reaches 17 per cent in West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today announced inclusion of the 'Sheikh' community in reservation for Muslims in the OBC category, taking it to 17 per cent and claimed that her government had completed all commitments given to minorities in 16 months.

The 'Sheikhs', who comprised about 20 lakh among the 10 crore population in the state, were now included in the OBC, Banerjee said.

The chief minister claimed that her government had completed in 16 months all commitments for minorities given for five years.

"I have completed all my commitments to minorities for five years within 16 months and now I have to think afresh for the remaining part of my tenure," she told at a function.

Stating that her government has given Urdu the status of second language in blocks comprising over 10 per cent Urdu speaking population, Banerjee said that similar steps had also been taken for Hindi, Gurmukhi, Oriya, Nepali and Santhali.

"The budgetary allocation for the Minority Affairs department for the current year is likely to touch nearly Rs 1,000 crore from Rs 680 crore," she said.

Minority students would be trained to compete for IAS, IPS, WBCS, WBPS and other competitive examinations under UPSC and state PSC for social uplift, she said.

Completion of the Alliah University in the state at a cost of Rs 350 crore would help the minorities in the state, Banerjee said.

Outlining a list of schemes for minorities, Banerjee hoped that they would soon attain self-reliance.

The chief minister said that the CBI would investigate 14 cases of scams in Wakf properties during the tenure of the previous Left Front government and the remaining by the CID.

The chief minister gave away loans, scholarships and other benefits to minority students under different schemes of Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education department and WBMDFC.

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