Bengal ups Muslim quota from 7 to 17 per cent

via published on September 26, 2010

Bengal’s ruling Left Front government, eyeing the 26 per cent Muslim vote-bank, has issued a notification to increase reservation in the OBC category from seven per cent to 17 per cent by introducing a “more backward” classification.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced the reservation hike and said there would be classifications within the OBC category – backward and more backward – according to educational, financial and social status.

“The backward group will enjoy seven per cent reservation, while the more backward group will enjoy 10 per cent reservation,” he said. urrently, 108 communities are included in the OBC category, of which 56 are Muslim, nine Buddhist and one Jain.

With the new notification, 56 of the 108 communities – 49 Muslim, six Hindu and one Buddhist communities – have been regarded as “more backward”. Forty-nine of the 56 Muslim communities regarded as “more backward” account for 99 per cent of the Muslim population in the OBC category. There are 2.02 crore Muslims in West Bengal.

In addition to the OBC reservation, there is 22 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes and six per cent for Scheduled Tribes in government recruitment in the state.

Government officials claimed the Bengal government would now implement the recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission.

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