Northeast exodus: Mamta Banerjee deplores attempts to rake up trouble

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West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamta Banerjee. File Photo.
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamta Banerjee. File Photo.

Voicing concern over the mass exodus of the Northeastern people in the wake of Assam violence, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today deplored attempts to rake up trouble.

“Do not listen to rumours. Please maintain peace and harmony,” she told the huge congregation for Eid namaz at the Red Road here.

“We do not support this (violence). We will give all support (to Assam) in the prevailing situation.

“Those who have taken shelter in Jalpaiguri district (of West Bengal) are our guests ... We have given them shelter. If any of them do not want to return now we will continue to provide them shelter,” she said.

Mamta Banerjee, who had been invited by the Khilafat Committee, said her government had taken up several programmes for the uplift of the minorities since it came to power in 2011.

Besides, the state budget allocation for minority welfare had been increased by 80 per cent.

“Other parties make promises to the minorities before elections but do not keep them. But Trinamool Congress government has not done it,” she said, adding her government had passed in July, West Bengal Backward Classes (other than SC and ST) (Reservation of Vacancies in Services and Posts) Bill, 2012 providing 17 per cent job reservation for OBCs other than SC/STs.

She said the state government will set up complexes for minorities in every district, besides Aliah University.

Thousands of people participated in the Eid prayer braving rains. Union Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed, West Bengal Minister for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Firhad Hakim and Disaster Management Minister Javed Khan were present.

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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