None serious about okaying reservations for STs bill

Supreme Court has admitted petitions filed by Adivasi organisations seeking removal of Lambadas from the ST list

ADILABAD: The bill hiking reservations for scheduled tribes (STs) from six to 10 percent appears far from being approved while ruling BJP at centre and TRS in Telangana are blaming each other for delay even as Telangana Legislative Assembly elections are fast approaching.

Union minister for tribal welfare Arjun Munda, vide a letter in February 2022, informed state tribal welfare minister Satyawati Rathod that they will start processing ST Reservation Bill sent by Telangana government after Supreme Court disposes of cases on ST reservations.

Supreme Court has admitted petitions filed by Adivasi organisations seeking removal of Lambadas from the ST list. However, ruling TRS is attacking BJP-led central government for not taking any initiative in enhancing reservations for tribals to 10 percent in Telangana in view of their increased population in the state after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Thudum Debba senior leader Godam Ganesh says the issue of Lambadas, who have been cornering all benefits of reservations meant for STs from 1976, must be resolved first. Otherwise, Lambadas will end up cornering the benefit of enhanced 10 percent reservations at the cost of all other tribal groups in Telangana.

On the first day of monsoon session held in October 2021, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao himself stated that “large scale illegal migrations of Lambadas from bordering Maharashtra into Telangana is affecting interests of local tribals, who are thus losing out on benefits of reservations in education and employment.”

Chandrasekhar Rao had also gone on to say that migrating Lambadas are obtaining ST certificates in Telangana by bribing local revenue officials.

Political analysts say Lambadas and their leaders are mounting pressure on Telangana government in state and also BJP at centre government to okay 10 percent reservations for STs before the Supreme Court’s judgment. They have become particularly active after state government announced recruitment of 80,039 vacant jobs.

Adilabad zilla parishad chairman Rathod Janardhan of TRS has demanded that the centre clear the ST reservation hike bill immediately, as tribal people are getting less number of jobs and seats when compared to their population. He pointed out that Telangana Legislative Assembly has already unanimously passed the bill increasing reservations to 10 percent.

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