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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

CM vow on OBC certificates: HC's order will create divisions, says Mamata Banerjee

The Bengal chief minister, speaking at a rally in Bowbazar in Kolkata Uttar, stated categorically that her government would not accept the cancellation and would challenge it in the Supreme Court once its summer vacation ended

Subhasish Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 24.05.24, 10:29 AM
Mamata Banerjee with Trinamool candidates Saugata Roy and Sayantika Banerjee during a road show in Calcutta on Thursday

Mamata Banerjee with Trinamool candidates Saugata Roy and Sayantika Banerjee during a road show in Calcutta on Thursday PTI picture

Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her government would move the Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court’s order cancelling around five lakh other backward class (OBC) certificates on account of violation of reservation norms.

The Bengal chief minister, speaking at a rally in Bowbazar in Kolkata Uttar, stated categorically that her government would not accept the cancellation and would challenge it in the Supreme Court once its summer vacation ended. “OBC certificates will not be cancelled. It will not be done,” said the Trinamool Congress chief.

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“We will go to the higher court…. I know how to frame the rules, how to change the rules, how to alter the rules, and how to make the rules right,” she added to rousing applause from the audience.

On Wednesday, a division bench of the high court cancelled all OBC certificates issued by the Bengal government since 2010 as the court found them “illegal”. The court also struck down reservations for many communities declared OBC under the new state law that came into effect in 2012.

The court, however, in its order made it clear that it would not affect those who were currently holding jobs or had submitted applications, based on such certificates.

Mamata alleged that the order came from a place of “hate”, which would eventually create “divisions” in the society.

“You (the judiciary) should not hate people this way…. You should not create divisions among people this way,” she said.

Referring to the high court’s recent, unrelated order that had cancelled the appointments of nearly 26,000 teachers and non-teaching employees in connection with a recruitment “scam” – which got stayed, for the time being, by the Supreme Court — Mamata demanded answers on why such orders were being issued amid elections.

“Why was the dismissal order of the 26,000 teachers issued in the middle of the elections?” she asked.

Without naming the BJP, the chief minister alleged a conspiracy behind such en masse cancellation of jobs and certificates.

“They (BJP) had promised a bomb explosion. They had planned to spoil the future of those youths. The day the order was issued, I had vowed against letting this happen. We express our
gratitude to the Supreme Court, as it delivered an appropriate order,” Mamata said, promising a similar legal battle over the latest order on OBC certificates.

“I always stand by people in times of distress. When people find themselves in a difficult situation, I stay with them 24x7,” she said.

Reiterating her allegations of a section of Calcutta High Court judges hobnobbing with the BJP, the Trinamool chairperson referred to the farewell speech of Justice Chitta Ranjan Dash, who said he “was and is” a member of the RSS and was ready to “go back” to its organisation, earlier this week.

Mamata said while it was his personal choice, nobody could play with the future of people on the basis of “hatred”.

Earlier in her speech, Mamata accused the BJP of creating divisions among communities in Bengal. She underscored a recent meeting between the Rajasthan chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma and Calcutta-based Marwari businessmen, apparently organised to support the BJP.

Addressing the Marwari community, she said: “As individuals, you have the liberty to associate with anybody. I have no objection.”

“But I would like to ask these businessmen, has Bengal not shown you respect all these years? Here in Bengal, we consider everyone as one of us, regardless of their community,” added Mamata.

TMC complaint

The Trinamool Congress on Thursday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India, alleging that governor C.V. Ananda Bose was using his position to campaign for the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

This marks the third such complaint by the ruling party against the governor. The complaint includes photographs of Bose wearing a jacket with a lotus monogram (the BJP logo) on the chest at a religious event in Calcutta on January 23.

Trinamool said Bose wore the monogram to solicit votes for the BJP.

“The conduct of the Governor is not only undemocratic and violative of the constitutional values attached to his office but also impairs free and fair elections in
the State,” the Trinamool Congress stated in its complaint letter.

EC sources said the panel had received the complaint and was looking into it.

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