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Will move higher court after summer vacation to challenge Cal HC order on OBC certificates: Mamata

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KOLKATA, May 24: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that her government will approach a higher court, challenging the Calcutta High Court order that cancelled all OBC certificates issued in the state since 2010.

Addressing an election rally in Sagar in South 24 Parganas district, she said the state government would appeal to the higher court against the order after summer vacation.

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“We do not accept the order that scrapped OBC certificates. We will contest at a higher court after summer vacation,” Banerjee said.

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday struck down as illegal the OBC status of several classes in the state granted since 2010, sparking a political debate in the middle of the Lok Sabha elections.

The court observed that the inclusion of 77 classes of Muslims in the list of backward categories was to “treat them as a vote bank”.

“I respect the courts, but a few judges are only following the diktats of the BJP and the CPI(M).”

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Banerjee urged electors “not to cast a single vote to the BJP or any other party except the TMC so that the INDIA bloc can form a government at the Centre”.

She also accused the BJP of planning to implement the Uniform Civil Code to “undermine” the rights of people belonging to the SC and ST community.

Banerjee appealed to the families of Haj pilgrims to vote judiciously, as the “implementation of the Uniform Civil Code and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) could disenfranchise citizens”.

She alleged that the BJP has “made attempts to disrespect women in Sandeshkhali, incite riots, and revoke reservations and employment rights of backward classes” and its only aim is to “defame TMC and Bengal”.

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The TMC supremo accused the saffron camp of running advertisements to “mislead” people.

Banerjee said the ‘Gangasagar Mela’ must be recognised as a national fair, and claimed that her government is independently managing the annual affair while the “Centre has not been providing adequate support for it”.

She also promised completion of a bridge over the Muriganga river in the next 2-3 years, even though the “Centre has not provided support in the Rs 1,500 crore project”.

“You must come to vote even if there is rain,” she said at the rally, emphasising the need to defeat the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

A depression in the Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a severe cyclonic storm and make landfall between Sagar island in West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh around May 26 midnight, bringing heavy rain in the coastal districts of the state, the Met department said on Friday.

Banerjee’s comment came after it was found that voter turnout in the fifth round of polling in seven Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal was lower, as compared to the polling percentage in 2019, due to a two-hour rain. (PTI)








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