Kolkata, July 6 (IANS) The West Bengal assembly Friday passed a bill providing 17 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in government jobs in two different categories.
Category A for 'more backward classes' provides 10 percent seat reservation while other category for 'backward classes' provides seven percent seat reservation in government jobs.
This category has 65 different Muslim communities.
Terming as historic the West Bengal Backward Classes (other than SC and ST)(Reservation of Vacancies in Services and Posts) Bill, 2012, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it would provide opportunities for minorities in government jobs.
Legislators from the opposition Left Front, led by Communist Party of India, also supported the bill.
Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra said the government should also make a provision for reservation of students from the OBC category in the state's higher educational institutions.
In reply, Banerjee asked the Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu to bring a bill in this regard in the next assembly session.
"She often responds positively to requests which turn out to be negative in the long run," said Mishra when asked to comment on Banerjee's proposal to bring a bill for reservations in higher education.
However, Congress legislators thanked Banerjee for her proposal to bring a higher education reservation bill.
They said they had raised the issue several times when the Left Front was in power but the government did not take it up seriously.
Mishra said the Left Front government had brought a similar bill providing reservations to minorities under the OBC categories following recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission. But the bill could not be enacted.
He said had the new government allowed that bill to be enacted, the minority community would not have been deprived of the opportunities in the last 13 months since the Trinamool Congress-led government came to power.