Trinamool leader and Union Minister of State for tourism Sultan Ahmed,who sparked off a controversy when he sought job reservation for Muslims,is in no mood to compromise on the demand.
While politicians cutting across political barriers rubbished Ahmeds demand citing constitutional obligations,the minister has this time decided to move a step forward by holding a workshop in Kolkata on the issue.
Ahmed today told The Indian Express: I will organise a workshop on the issue in Kolkata in July this year.
When asked if he has taken up the issue of job reservation for Muslims with the Centre,the minister said: The Centre knows it all.
He,however,did not disclose the names of those who will be invited to the workshop. The details have not been decided so far, Ahmed said denying any further comment on the issue.
Congress leader Abdul Mannan reacted strongly to Ahmeds stance. The Trinamool Muslim leaders comments were made to deceive the Muslims. Not a single advocate from the Muslim community has been included in the list of advocates serving the state in the Calcutta High Court. Does keeping a Muslim advocate in the panel require reservation? Mannan asked.
No political party or front other than the Congress is a true sympathiser of the Muslims. The Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission were constituted by the Congress. Though there was no job reservation for Muslims during the Congress rule in the state (1972-77),more Muslims had secured government in the Congress regime than during the 34-years tenure of the Left Front, Mannan said.
When other Trinamool leaders were asked about Ahmeds workshop,they did not comment. Senior Trinamool leader and state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said he was not aware of it. I do not know whether he has discussed this with other party leader.
Recently,35 castes,mostly from the Muslim community,have been brought under the OBC list by the Backward Class Welfare Department. The state government would table OBC reservation bill afresh in the Assemblys next session.
Mamata had also announced a monthly remuneration of Rs 2,500 for imams and Rs 100 for muezzins.