Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday rubbished demands of reservation for Muslims on the basis of religion and said the idea cannot work as it is not permitted by the Indian Constitution.
“Even if we want to do it (reservation on the basis of religion), we can’t do it because it is not possible due to the guidelines in the constitution of our country. But we will try to bring in more and more backward sections of the community under reservation for the overall development,” said Banerjee while addressing a programme here.
The controversy was sparked off by Trinamool Congress MP Sultan Ahmed a few weeks back when he publicly demanded reservation status should be provided to the Muslims on the basis of religion.
With Muslims comprising nearly 30 percent of the state’s population, Banerjee continues to dole out largesse to the community with an eye to the upcoming Panchayat polls.
She had announced that the state government would provide a monthly honorarium to imams. The state government has also announced that muezzins of mosques would be paid through the Waqf Board this week.
Continuing to shower sops on the minority community, the chief minister had then said that the cabinet had ratified a proposal for reservation of jobs for Muslims under the other backward classes (OBC) category.