Parliament passed a bill on Wednesday for the inclusion of the Darlong community as a sub-tribe of Kuki in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Tripura. Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill-2022 with a voice vote. Lok Sabha had cleared the bill on March 28. Speaking on the bill in the Upper House of Parliament, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Saruta said the inclusion of the Darlong community as a sub-tribe of Kuki will give it an identity in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Tripura. Kuki is one of the main tribal communities in Northeast India and the Darlong community in Tripura will become its 18th sub-tribe. The minister said Tripura has a tribal population of around 11.66 lakh, which is 31.76 per cent of the state's total population according to the census of 2011.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, along with other central government agencies, has taken several steps for the development of the tribal community while keeping in mind their unique culture and tradition, she added. The government will consider the demands that have come from several states, including Chhattisgarh, for the inclusion of other communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes, Saruta said. The minister alleged that in West Bengal the tribal communities are unable to get benefits of various central government schemes due to the policy of the state government. Saruta asserted that the Centre has focussed on the education of tribal children and increased the number of Eklavya Model Schools and enhanced the budgetary allocation for it. Members cutting across party lines supported the bill that amends the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
While supporting the bill, Phulo Devi Netam of the Congress said the government remembered Adivasis now as the assembly election in the state is approaching. Manik Saha of the BJP said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to the welfare of all and termed the bill "historic". Santanu Sen of the Trinamool Congress said there are 427 tribal communities in the country, of which 130 major categories are from the Northeast. He requested all members to support the bill as it will ensure the community gets the benefit of reservation. M Mohamed Abdulla of the DMK, Mamta Mohanta of the BJD and Lingaiah Yadav of the TRS were among those who supported the bill.