ST status to six Assam communities
New Delhi, Oct 1: Putting the ball in the Assam government’s court, the Centre on Thursday said Dispur has not yet responded to its query regarding granting of ST status to the six ethnic communities of the State.
“We had sought a report from the State government regarding the modalities for granting ST status to the six communities, but so far we did not get any response from them (Dispur),” Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram told a delegation of the communities from Assam.
A 15-member delegation comprising representatives from Koch-Rajbongshi, Moran, Mottock, Chutiya, Tai Ahom and the tea tribe communities called on Oram to push forward their demand for ST status.
Significantly, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had recently said in Guwahati that his government did not get any written communication from the Centre on the issue.
“Both Centre and State are playing a blame game and we are the sufferers…we will urge our local MPs to work positively in this direction or else we will be forced to adopt other means,” said Lohit Gogoi, central working president of the Tai Ahom Juba Chatra Parishad.
The Union Tribal Affairs minister is learnt to have told the delegation that Centre has agreed to relax the modalities in order to grant ST status to the six communities.
The Centre had on at least three occasions rejected the demand for ST status, citing the five existing modalities which the communities apparently do not meet.
“We were informed that two modalities have been removed to widen the scope for granting ST status to us,” said Gogoi.