Even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed on Saturday that the state government has launched several schemes for the development of minorities, Qari Fazlur Rahman, a prominent Muslim leader who led the Eid prayers at Red Road in Kolkata, said nothing much has been done for the welfare of Muslims in last four years.
Rahman, who shared the stage with Mamata during the Eid prayers, said, “A lot of announcements had been made by the CM but zero per cent work has been done at the grassroot level.”
Rahman told The Sunday Express that he has mentioned in his speech about the non-implementation of the promises made to the Muslims in the state. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, before coming to power, had promised to give recognition to 10,000 madrasas in Bengal but failed to live up to that front. So far, she had given recognition to only about 134 madrasas,” he said.
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Continuing his attack on the the ruling Trinamool Congress government over negligence towards the plight of madrasas, Rahman said: “The teachers and students at madrasas have been kept deprived. Some of the aided madrasas are only getting some books while teachers are not getting their salaries. If this continues, result in the next Assembly polls here would not be too good for the ruling party.”
Mentioning the reservation for Muslims in OBC category, he said, “I have talked to the CM today and told her that many Muslim didn’t get their OBC certificates as had been promised. She said work was being done on that front. But there should be a limit for a work going on. It cannot go on for ever.”
Warning political parties against their policy of treating Muslims as vote banks, he said, “Going to Iftar parties sporting hizab and skull caps will not help anymore. Muslims have become very smart now.”
Attacking the Modi government, the Muslim leader said, “The people of India are having to put up with those who had been in power in Gujarat and are at the helm of the nation now. We urge them not to try to change the Constitution of the country. India is a secular country and they should not force their religion on anyone else. They had waited for a long time to come to power but if they try to destroy the secularism of the country, they would be sent back to the pavilion and this time the wait might never end.”
Earlier, Mamata said that Bengal had the largest concentration of Muslims and they lived in harmony with other communities. “We will not allow anyone to wage a divide in this communal amity,” she said while addressing the Eid congregation at Red Road.
The chief minister claimed that the state government has launched a lot of schemes and projects for Muslims in the state.
Meanwhile, sidelined Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy, who attended the Eid celebrations at Furfura Sharif, told media persons that no state government should claim credit for keeping communal harmony.
“It is the people in Bengal who are to be given this credit for maintaining communal amity,” Roy said. He added that even though some work has been done to uplift the Muslim community in the state, a lot needs to be done.
Earlier, hundreds of faithful turned up at the historic Nakhoda Masjid to offer prayers and exchange greetings with each other for the festival which marks the end of Ramzan, a month of fasting from dawn to sunset every day.
Charity programmes were organised at many places where new clothes, food packets and gifts were distributed among the poor and needy. Heavy security arrangements were made across to thwart any breach of peace.
In his message, Governor K N Tripathi called for celebrating the auspicious occasion with the spirit of togetherness.