Kolkata: The battle between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal has escalated with the state government issuing a show cause notice to 125 schools, many of them linked to the BJP's ideological mentor RSS over suspicions that they were promoting religious intolerance.
A CPM lawmaker member had this week in the Assembly drawn the government's attention to 300 schools being run by outfits backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) in the state, accusing them of giving students religious lessons and not just the curriculum prescribed by government authorities.
Education Minister Partha Chatterjee minister promised to act on the lawmaker's complaint.
"If these claims are true then these activities will be stopped. Nobody will be allowed to teach religious doctrines in schools," Mr Chatterjee told reporters on Friday.
Schools run by private trusts like Sarada Shishu Tirtha, Saraswati Shishu Mandir and Vivekanada Vidya Vikas Parishad are under the scanner of the education department.
"This is a genuine complaint and the school education department is inquiring into the charges against those schools. There are 125 schools out of which 96 have not obtained any NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the government. They are running these schools without the NOC. These schools will be taken to task and we have issued show cause notices," Mr Chatterjee told reporters.
The BJP has hit back at the Trinamool Congress. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said instead of targeting the Sangh Parivar schools, the government should be monitoring madrasas and Christian missionary schools.
"How can they issue a show cause notice? The schools run with the government's permission. The Sangh Parivar is increasing its activities and obviously the West Bengal government is trying to stop us from doing so," Dilip Ghosh told NDTV.