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Dining diktat sparks row in West Bengal; it is an old circular, says Mamata

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Kolkata, June 28: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee sparked a controversy after her proposal for construction of dining hall in every state-run school which has more than 70 per cent of Muslim students.

Mamata govt mulls a mandatory dining hall in Muslim-dominated schools, sparks row

"I had no knowledge of this. This was an old circular which has already been withdrawn. I think some errant officer dredged out an old circular and issued it without the government's knowledge," Mamata told News18.

"I am immediately inquiring into this matter. There will be no discrimination of students on any grounds," she added.

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To implement the order, West Bengal's Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department (MAMED) has sought an urgent list of government schools that has more than 70 per cent, Muslim students.

According to a circular, dated June 25, "In reference to the no:1173-MD/15011/10/2017: dt: 14/06/09 received from the Special Secretary, Ma & ME Department, Government of West Bengal, you are requested to send the names of the Government/Government aided schools having minority students more than 70 percent."

Reacting to the government's move, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the initiative passed by the Trinamool supremo, questioning the 'discrimination' between students on the 'basis of religion'.

Calling it 'another conspiracy', Ghosh asked if there is some other 'malafide motive' behind the segregation.

The BJP had recently won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state and bagged 40.5 per cent vote share - a record jump of 23 per cent from the last general elections when it had won only two seats.

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