KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday clarified that the decision to construct dining hall in government schools with over 70 per cent students is “meant for all”.
The comment from the chief minister came after the aforementioned decision sparked a fresh row.
“This was supposed to be for schools which don’t have dining halls, where students have to eat outside. It is meant for all,” Banerjee said.
In a letter to district education officer and district inspector of schools, the West Bengal Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department (MAMED) had sought a list of government-run schools with over 70 percent Muslim students for the construction of mid-day meal dining halls.
“The circular was worded in the manner to figure whether minority students are in greater numbers so that we could channelize Minority Welfare Department funds into this scheme,” Banerjee said.
Senior BJP leaders condemned the TMC government’s decision, with BJP National spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao calling it “minority appeasement politics” and West Bengal Party President Dilip Ghosh terming it a “purely political move”.
“We are following the guidelines of the government of India. It’s nothing more than a technical matter. The idea is to pool in funds from different departments so that the scheme can be effectively implemented. It is not supposed to divide students in any way,” Banerjee added.