Row over Bengal 'plan for dining halls for minorities'

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Row over Bengal 'plan for dining halls for minorities'

KOLKATA: A Bengalgovernment circularasking theCooch Beharinspector of schools to identify state-run and aided institutions that have more than 70% students from the minority community in the BJP leadership railing against TMC’s “appeasement policy”.
The circular states that the minority affairs department needs to decide on the dining halls in these schools.
BJP termed the circular “discriminatory” and “divisive”.
“Students should get equal facilities in schools I have no objection to schools having dining halls where mid-day meals can be served. But this should be applicable to all students Why is the government creating a division between Hindu and Muslim students? “State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
Chief MinisterMamata Banerjeeon Friday clarified that her government planned to build dining halls in all state-run and aided schools. Contesting allegations of discrimination, she said her government was the only funding from pooling funds to various departments.
“The circular in question was issued to schools having 70% students from the minority community so that funds for construction of dining halls in these institutions can be sourced from the minority affairs and madrassa education departments,” Mamata said.
According to her, the state government has decided to build dining halls as schools because students were often forced to have their mid-day meals in the open. “We are simply following the guidelines of the government of India Sourcing funds The idea is to pool funds from different departments so that the scheme can be effectively implemented. “
The state BJP chief said that he had not heard of any such central guideline.
The school education department has already allocated Rs 200 crore for construction of dining halls in 4,647 primary schools and 1,524 upper primary schools. But the corpus available for the project is inadequate, which is why the government is trying to pool funds from various departments, including the madrassa education and backward classes welfare departments, Mamata said.

The CM released the clarification after an image of the government circular, dated June 25, was posted onTwitterby the BJP president on Thursday night.
“You are requested to send the names of the government / government-aided schools having minority students more than 70 percent as per formatted below under June 28 positively. This is for sending a proposal to the aforesaid department for construction of dining hall for mid-day meal in schools, “the circular states.

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