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Assam: Newly elected MP Ajit Bhuyan raises issue of providing ST status to six communities

Rajya Sabha member Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, on Sunday, raised the long pending issue of providing ST status to six communities in Assam.

The journalist-turned-politician who recently took oath as Rajya Sabha MP has been vocal about the inclusion of the six communities of Assam namely Tai Ahom, Koch-Rajbongshi, Moran, Mottock, Chutia and Adivasi (Tea) Tribes, into the Scheduled tribe (ST) list of Assam. He had also earlier condemned the BJP led Central and State Government for not resolving the long-standing demand of the people of the state in the name of vote bank politics. During the ongoing Parliamentary session on Sunday, Bhuyan demanded for immediate Union government action on the inclusion of the six communities of Assam in the schedule tribe list.

Prior to introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, BJP-led-NDA Government introduced ‘The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019’ in the Rajya Sabha on 9th January, 2019, for the inclusion of the six communities in the ST list of Assam. Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) became Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but the said bill for scheduling was never put to vote.

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On Sunday, Bhuyan demanded answers in the Rajya Sabha on government’s plans to introduce the Bill for inclusion of the six communities in ST list for voting. In a tweet he further urged that the Ministry should perform a follow up action on any issue raised through Special Mention.

According to information received through RTI from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt Of India (MHA) constituted a Committee dated Feb 29, 2016 that recommended the govt to grant in-principle approval of ST status to the six communities, which was in turn supported by the Office of the Registrar General of India. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) also concluded that the six communities possess characteristics of Scheduled Tribes and qualify to be included in the list of STs of Assam and supported the proposal of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

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