Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Hagrama Mohilary on Saturday said granting ST statia to six more communities in Assam wouldn’t affect the status of existing ST communities in the state.
He said Central government had asked the Assam government to institute a cabinet sub-committee to ensure that the granting of ST status to six communities did not impact negatively on the existing ST communities.
Mohilary and some other leaders of the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), which is a partner of the BJP-led alliance government in Assam, on Saturday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the Central government’s recent move to table a bill in the Parliament to grant ST status to six communities in Assam including the Koch Rajbongshis, Tai Ahoms, Chutias, Morans, Mottocks and the tea tribes.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance Minster Himanta Biswa Sarma were also present during the meeting with Union Home Minister.
“There were apprehensions among the tribals who are enjoying the ST status now that granting of the status to six communities will deprive them of the benefits. However, the Union Home Minister assured us that none of the tribals enjoying the ST status will be affected by granting ST status to six communities,” said Mohilary after coming out of the meeting with the Union Home Minister.
He said that the cabinet sub-committee will hold interactions with all the organisations of the six communities and will submit the report within one month.
“There have been apprehensions among the tribals enjoying the ST status that they will deprive the benefits. However, the government of India has assured that no one will be affected by the move.
The cabinet sub-committee to be instituted by the Assam government will talk to all the organisations and find out what kind of safeguard they want before submitting their report,” said senior BPF leader and Rajya Sabha MP.