The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to grant Scheduled Tribes status to certain communities in Karnataka, was passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Moving the Bill for consideration, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said, “Certain communities in Karnataka were worried for years because they were not included in the list of Scheduled Tribes… Parivara and Talawara belong to the Nayaka community but they were deprived of ST category due to the lack of synonyms… Now the government has brought this proposal to expand the scope of the synonyms of Nayaka and Siddi communities.”
The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha during the winter session.
All parties supported the Bill but the Opposition demanded a comprehensive legislation for inclusion of any community in the ST list.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “We need a holistic and comprehensive legislation in so far as inclusion of any community in the Scheduled Tribe list is concerned.”
Trinamool Congress MP Sougata Ray raised the issue of Maoism in tribal areas. “I want to mention that one of the reasons why Maoism spread in Chhattisgarh is that big corporates like Vedanta and others are trying to grab lands in the tribal areas because tribal areas are rich in minerals. In Odisha also, Malkangiri is full of tribals and full of Maoists. This is, again, because big corporates are trying to grab the land,” Ray said.
Earlier, opening the debate, Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh said, “After Independence, there were a number of communities which were included in the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe lists. You are not enhancing the reservation facilities. The percentage of reservation has not enhanced.”
Shiv Sena member Arvind Sawant and NCP’s Supriya Sule demanded that the Dhangar community from Maharashtra also be included in the list. Sawant also raised the issue of assaults on Marathi people in Belgaum in Karnataka.
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