A bill to add more communities to the Scheduled Tribe list in Uttar Pradesh has been cleared by the Lok Sabha. The tribal communities that will now be considered Scheduled Tribes in four districts (Sant Kabir Nagar, Kushinagar, Chanduali and Sant Ravidas Nagar) are Gond, Dhuriya, Nayak, Ojha, Pathari and Rajgond.
People belonging to the Gond community in these four districts have now been excluded from the list of Scheduled Castes.
The bill -- Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022, was approved by voice vote by the Lower House.
With this, the BJP fulfils one of its key poll promises that it had made to the people of Uttar Pradesh. The party had promised to bring legislation for those seeking their inclusion in the ST list.
Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said that the Modi government is committed to welfare of tribals and has increased budgetary allocation of tribal welfare schemes over the years.
“This government is committed to the welfare of tribals and the bill is just a way forward,” he said.
Munda categorically rejected the Opposition's charge of politicising the issue. He said that the bill provides for the welfare of tribals in Uttar Pradesh where the elections have already been completed.
“This is not linked with elections,” he added.
Munda said the government was coming up with different bills for reservation of tribals as the list of such tribes is different in different states and the issues ought to be deliberated in Parliament.