Bengal govt faces BJP heat over dining room diktat, withdraws circular

BJP, TMC, circular, The Federal, English news website, dining room
West Bengal Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee. File Photo: PTI

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has slammed the state government for its directive on construction of dining rooms for midday meals in state-run schools having more than 70 per cent minority students in Cooch Behar district.

Uploading a copy of the circular on his Twitter handle, he sought to know whether there was any “mala fide motive” behind the “segregation”.

“The West Bengal Government has issued a circular whereby it has directed the school authorities where 70% or more students are from the Muslim community to reserve a dining hall with seating arrangements for them,” Ghosh tweeted.

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“Why this discrimination between the students on the basis of religion? Is there some other mala fide motive behind this segregation? Another conspiracy?” he asked. No government official was immediately available for comment.

The TMC later issued a clarification, quoting the CM as saying, “I had no knowledge of this. This was an old circular which had already been withdrawn. I think some errant officer dredged out an old circular and issued it without the government’s knowledge.”

The circular was apparently issued by the Cooch Behar district magistrate office (minority section) on Tuesday asking the district inspector of schools to send the names of government-run and government-aided schools having more than 70 per cent minority students by Friday, for sending a proposal for construction of dining halls for midday meals in schools.

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