Criticising the ruling Left Front for neglecting minorities in West Bengal over three decades, top clerics on Monday urged Muslims to vote for Trinamool in the assembly polls.
"People say the minorities have got nothing during Left Front rule in Bengal. But I ask: what has the majority got from them in 34 years? Then how can the minorities expect anything from them?" said Shia imam Maulana Athar Abbas Rizvi.
"In Bengal the minority vote is invaluable and is sure to play a big role in deciding which party comes to power. The Leftists, especially the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI(M)), have done nothing for development of the minorities in the state. We are far behind the rest of the metropolises in the country," said Shahi Imam-O-Khatib Tipu Sultan Mosque SMN Rahaman Barkati. Around 26% of the state’s population of over 8 crore comprises Muslims.
Barkati, who is also chairman of All India Majlis-E-Shoora, a religious body said: "The minorities in the state have suffered the most. There has been a deliberate attempt to push them towards destruction by denying them education, employment, housing, health services and other basic amenities."
"There are more than 90,000 Urdu speaking people in the state but after repeated promises the state government had not introduced Urdu as the second language. More than 90% of the agricultural land acquired in Rajarhat belongs to Muslims. The acquisitions are fraudulent and forcible," he said.