Kolkata, Sep 21 (IANS) Asserting she will not allow anyone to incite communal tension in the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday assured funds to madarsas for encouraging education among the minorities.
Addressing an event by the state minority development department here, she also announced that all medical college hospitals in the state will provide free treatment. Till now only district hospitals have been providing such facilities.
“We will not allow any attempts to incite communal tension in the state. People with vested interests always want to divide people, but we will not allow that to happen,” she said.
Appreciating the performance of the minority community in academics and underlining the importance of madarsas in spreading education, Banerjee announced a grant of Rs.25 lakh to a madarsa in Kharagpur of West Midnapore district.
“I am granting you (Kharagpur madarsa) Rs.25 lakh as you have been able to spread education. Please make more doctors and engineers off the students.
“I will give such more grants to other institutes if they are also able to educate more people. This is a commitment from my side and is a standing instruction to the concerned department,” said Banerjee also the Trinamool Congress chairperson.
She also said the government is working towards making Urdu the second language in minority-dominated areas of the state.
Lambasting the erstwhile Left Front government for the burdening the state with debts, Banerjee enumerated her government’s schemes for the welfare of the minorities.
“Before we came to power, the minorities (affairs) department had a budget of Rs.472 crore where even 80 percent was not spent. We have increased that budget to Rs.2,400 crore – an increase of five times and so minority development is happening,” she contended.
She further said that only eight lakh students from the minority communities got scholarship during the Left Front rule.
“But during our regime in the past four years it is 82 lakh students,” she added.
She also said that the facility of free treatment that was now available only at district hospitals will be extended to all medical college and hospitals.