Deccan Chronicle

Congress, BJP, TRS playing 10 per cent reservations to tribals' card in the state

Deccan Chronicle.| Pillalalmarri Srinivas

Published on: May 11, 2022 | Updated on: May 11, 2022

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi supported the call for 10 per cent reservations for tribals while the BJP and the TRS blamed each other



ADILABAD: The Congress, the BJP and the TRS are eyeing tribals' votes as the Assembly elections are approaching. They are playing the Rs 10 per cent reservations to tribals’ card in this connection.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi supported the call for 10 per cent reservations for tribals while the BJP and the TRS blamed each other for not doing this in the state.

Both the Congress and the BJP are trying to push the ball into the TRS’s court while the ruling party is aiming to push the same into BJP’s court, saying it was for the Centre to do this.

There are 12 Assembly seats and two MP seats reserved for tribals in the state.

Meanwhile, the Girijana Reservation Sadhana Samiti led by Lambada leaders staged dharnas demanding that the state government implement 9.08 per cent reservations for STs by raising the quota from the existing 6 per cent.

Congress leader of Adilabad, Naresh Jadhav, said the state government can do this as per the Census-2011 and need not take the Centre’s approval.

However, Adivasis say the Lambada community is not a ST community. Adivasis said it was the Congress government at the Centre that included Lambadas into ST list in 1976 — during the Emergency when no protest was possible.  

Newly elected state president of Thudum Debba (Adivasi Hakkula Porata Samiti) Bursa Pochaiah said Adivasis had been urging the state and central governments to remove the Lambadas from the ST list, as Lambadas were continuing illegally as STs.

He alleged that Lambadas were enjoying the ST status without being included in the ST list under Article 342 of the Constitution. This was nothing but gaining entry into the ST list through the back door. Adivasis will not benefit from the demand for 10 per cent reservations for STs, he said.

Pochaiah alleged that educated Lambadas had taken away 90 per cent benefits of the reservations for tribals. A petition filed by Adivasi organisations questioning the ST status of Lambadas had been admitted by the Supreme Court and this is about to come before an SC bench for hearing, he said.

Adivasis leaders questioned the motive behind the Lambadas demanding 9.08 per cent reservations to tribals and saying that this was in the state’s purview itself. They are trying to grab more from the tribal reservations, they alleged.

Adilabad BJP MP Soyam Bapu Rao gave a call to Adivasis and Girijans to stage dharnas at all tahsildar offices on May 18 demanding that the state government ensure 9.08 per cent reservations for Adivasis and tribals instead of blaming the Centre.

Bapu Rao said the TRS had passed a resolution in the Assembly to hike reservations to 12 per by proposing the inclusion of three other communities in the ST list.   

He noted that the state government sent the proposal to the Centre along with a proposal seeking a hike in the reservations for Muslim minorities#

On the other hand, TRS leaders especially Lambada MLAs and Zilla Parishad chairmen demanded that the BJP-led Centre introduce the 10 per cent reservations to the tribals through a bill and pass it in Parliament.

Political analysts say Lambada leaders are mounting pressure on the Telangana and Central governments to achieve 10 per cent reservations for STs, much before the Supreme Court comes up with a decision.

Adilabad Zilla Parishad chairman Rathod Janardhan of TRS demanded that the Centre clear the ST reservation hike bill immediately as any delay would affect the community which is losing opportunity.

Recently, the Telangana High Court has scrapped the controversial orders issued by the Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society reserving more than 80 per cent of seats to Lambada students in the admissions to Intermediate for 2022-23.   

In the wake of the government’s announcement to fill nearly 80,039 vacancies, Lambada organisations demanded that the state government does the recruitment only after increasing the reservations to STs by 10 per cent from the existing six per cent in the state so that STs will get more jobs.

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