Predictably the Communist Party of India (Marxist) backed the West Bengal government decision to reserve 10 per cent jobs for socially and educationally backward Muslims. Also predictably it sought to pressurize the Congress into doing the same thing at the national level and also hit out at what it called communal BJP for objecting to these reservations.
“It (Bengal’s decision) is predictably being dismissed cynically as an election gimmick by the Congress party which cannot afford to openly oppose this move. (And) It is, as expected, denounced by the communal outfits particularly their political arm, the BJP”, says the editorial in the latest issue of the CPI(M) mouthpiece, People’s Democracy.
Political observers see the CPI (M)’s strategy to project its secular credentials ahead of crucial assembly elections to Kerala and West Bengal as also a ploy to ease its tensions with its former allies when taking on the “communal forces”. If the Centre does indeed accept the Ranganath Mishra Commission report and follows the example of Budhadeb government on job reservations to Muslims, the CPI(M) can well claim brownie points, the observers felt.
The language of the editorial bares the party intentions. “The second UPA government is yet to come out with an action taken report on these recommendations….This lapse, hopefully, should be corrected on the forthcoming budget session. Only then will the country and the people know how the government intends to implement the recommendations of the commission,” the editorial said.
“The Congress first needs to explain to the people its procrastination on the report for so long before mounting attacks against the CPI(M) for implementing what is widely recognized today as necessary for the integration of the minorities into the process of building of modern India”, the People’s Democracy said. “The Bengal government’s decision is correct from this perspective and thus deserves to be welcomed by all Indian secular democrats and patriots,” it added.