A bill to include certain tribal communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes in four newly-created districts in Uttar Pradesh was taken up for discussion in the Lok Sabha on Friday with members seeking better implementation of the reservation policies for such categories.
Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022 seeks to include Gond, Dhuria, Nayak, Ojha, Pathari and Rajgond communities living in the districts of Sant Kabir Nagar, Kushinagar, Chandauli and Sant Ravidas Nagar in the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state.
The bill also seeks to exclude the Gond community living in these four districts from the list of Scheduled Castes.
Initiating the debate, Congress member Deepak Baij said similar proposals for inclusion of certain tribal communities of Chhattisgarh in the list of Scheduled Tribes was pending with the Centre for the past few years and urged the minister to expedite the same.
Baij, who represents Bastar in the Lok Sabha, said a few years ago tribals in Chhattisgarh were living in fear of becoming victims of either the security personnel or naxals.
However, the situation had improved since Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel assumed office.
Earlier, the presence of the government was felt only up to a kilometre on either side of the roads, but now the administration was holding special camps to issue Aadhar cards and extend healthcare facilities to tribals.
Baij wanted the government to scrap the privatisation policy as it would encroach upon the rights of tribals.
The Congress member also wanted the government to end the bogey doing away with policy of reservations for tribal communities.
BJP's Jagdambika Pal urged the government to initiate a census of the tribal population in the country and also sought more clarity in the issuance of caste certificates.
TMC MP Pratima Mondal raised the issue of crimes against the community and alleged that funds for the SC/ST community remained unutilised.
She also said that the existing reservation policy was not been implemented properly. Pointing out that mere inclusion of more categories is not enough and efforts should be underway to increase funds allocation, changes through education and a compulsory chapter on the issue in school books.
YSRCP's Sajiv Kumar said that the amendments reflected the aspirations of the marginalised communities.
Shiv Sena's Rajendra Gavit sought the exclusion of those communities which have already benefitted from reservation and progressed out of the BPL category.
He also raised the issue of fake caste certificates being issued in Maharashtra.