The BJP in West Bengal is going all out to woo the OBCs ahead of panchayat polls in the state scheduled later this year. The state BJP OBC Morcha has started organising conferences from this month in every booth across the state, highlighting how the Mamata Banerjee-government has deprived the community over the years. According to 2011 census, OBCs account for 42.7 per cent of the state population.
Speaking to The Indian Express, state BJP OBC Morcha president Swapan Pal said, “In the state Budget tabled last month, the government did not even allot Rs 100 for the development of OBCs… We want to highlight their plight and will reach out to them through our booth-level conferences.”
Pal said that they demand 27 per cent reservation for the OBCs in the state. “Over the years, the OBC population was severely deprived by the state government. They only get five per cent reservation and there is also category A and B that further restricts them from receiving any government aid.”
Recently, the BJP had alleged that the state government did not grant them the permission to organise an OBC state conference in North 24 Parganas’ Barrackpore area. “We had applied for permission to hold our state conference at Sukanta Sadan in Barrackpore. The application was made on December 26, last year, and it was accepted by Barrackpore Municipality. The hall was booked for March 5. However, later Barrackpore Municipality chairman Uttam Das cancelled the permission. So, we have decided to organise such conferences at the block level,” Pal added. Uttam Das was not available for comment.