Darjeeling’s Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Chettri today alleged that the BJP-led central government was not sincere about granting tribal status to Gorkha communities.
According to her, she bases her statement on a question she raised in Parliament regarding the issue today. “I have been raising questions about the issue of tribal status for 11 left out Gorkha communities, but no clear reply is given. This time too, I raised the question today, but I did not get a proper response. This shows that the BJP is not concerned about the issue,”
said the TMC MP over the phone from Delhi.
According to her, the state had already recommended the matter on 28 February 2014, but nothing had been done on it. “Will the Minister of Tribal Affairs be pleased to state whether the Government has received a proposal made by the Bengal State Government?” Ms Chettri said in her question to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
According to her, she also raised further questions on whether the matter was pending since 2014 and whether the Government would take urgent interventions for examining the claims of the communities of that state for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe list so as to enable the people of those communities to avail benefits for their development.
Ms Chettri said she also asked about the reasons for the unprecedented delays and the details thereof. “To all these questions, while admitting that the state had sent a recommendation, only one answer was given to other questions by the Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Renuka Singh Saruta,” Ms Chettri said.
“The Government of India on 15.6.1999 (further amended on 25.6.2002) has laid down the modalities for deciding the claims for inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in Orders specifying Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes lists.
As per the modalities, only those proposals which have been recommended and justified by the concerned State Government/UT Administration and concurred with by Registrar General of India (RGI) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) are to be considered and legislation amended. All action on the proposal is taken as per these approved modalities,” she quoted the answer as saying.