Apparently keeping an eye on the next year’s assembly elections in West Bengal, the Left Front on Monday endorsed the Ranganath Mishra panel’s recommendations for job reservation for minorities and appealed for its implementation.
“A consensus was arrived at the Left Front meeting. We are endorsing the recommendations of the Commission,” Front chairman Biman Bose told reporters.
“It remained unexposed and we had no idea about the contents of the report. We came to know about its contents just before the end of Parliament session,” Mr. Bose said about the Commission’s report which was submitted to the Centre in May, 2007.
The Centre, he said, had been appealed to take steps for its implementation. “The Centre should move forward without further delay to formulate exact opinion and finalise the Action Taken Report in consultation with national political parties.”
Front constituents would now go through the report in detail and submit their views in writing to Mr. Bose with copies to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Asked if the Left Front’s endorsement of the reservation for Dalit Muslims clashes with CPI(M)’s stand that it should not be on the basis of religion, but on economic backwardness, Mr. Bose said “we want reservation for socially and economically backward people.”
Mr. Bose said in implementing the Mishra Commission’s report for minorities, the creamy layer should be left out in line with the Mandal panel report.
“Socially and economically backward sections among the minorities should get the benefit,” he said.
Asked about the yardstick for determining the socially and economically backward, Mr. Bose said BPL list could be an instrument.
The Left Front had earlier been jolted by the Rajinder Sachar Commission’s report which criticised the State government for doing little for minorities who gradually became alienated from the Front in Singur and Nandigram in the last few years.
Earlier, veteran Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh had taken up the matter with the Chief Minister and Left Front chairman and called for a meeting of the Left Front.