West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asserted that priority must be given to locals and those knowing the local language during recruitment in state government jobs.
Banerjee said that this practice would ease administrative affairs.
"I am telling this to all the states. In West Bengal, if a person is from the state, he/she must get priority during recruitment to state government jobs even if his/her mother tongue is not Bengali. I have no objection to that," said Banerjee.
"But that person must know Bengali and should be a resident of the state. If he/she knows more languages, it's good. But knowledge of the local language is a must," she said during an administrative review meeting in Malda.
To further her argument, she cited the examples of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where she said that residents of the state take up the matter with their respective governments if locals are not recruited in state government jobs.
"In every state, we must ensure that locals get jobs," she said.
Banerjee said that in many cases, candidates from other states are selected over the local ones because of their better performance in the examination, but they face problems in communicating with locals due to their lack of knowledge of Bengali, as a result of which they fail to solve the problems.
"Sub-divisional officers and and block development officers are unable to read letters written in Bengali or reply to those. So, knowledge of the local language is a must otherwise they can't solve people's problems," Banerjee said.
She directed chief secretary HK Dwivedi to look into the matter and work out a solution.