With an eye on the Muslim vote bank in poll-bound West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said his government had given a lot of opportunities to the community in education and job sectors.
Admitting the Muslims did have some problems, the Chief Minister said, "We have ensured 10 per cent jobs in the government for the Muslim community,"
"Our three-point programme for alleviating the problems of the Muslim community are higher education, work for Muslims in the government sector and opportunities for them in other sectors," Bhattacharjee said at a convention of Madrasa teachers and workers at Rabindra Sadan here.
Referring to the Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar Committee report that made uncomfortable remarks on the condition of minorities in West Bengal, the CPI (M) leader said the government knew of the problems before the report had been published.
"Sachar Committee did not open our eyes, our eyes were open already. We were aware of the problems."
He also alleged the Centre did not take any action on the Sachar report and Ranganath Mishra Committee report. "The Centre has sat on these reports, it talked of a 15-point programme, but has done nothing."
With a large section of the Muslim community apparently turning away from the Left since the Panchayat elections in 2008, the Left has been desperately trying to woo them back to their fold.
The Left government has since then made a string of announcements for them -- from setting up Alia University and Aligarh Muslim University's Murshidabad unit to providing job and vocational openings.
Bhattacharjee also criticised the US for allegedly meddling in the affairs of Libya and Iraq, saying "there may be problems, but it is for the people of these countries to decide their fate and future."
"Their main concern is oil and not the interest of the people of these countries," Bhattacharjee added.