GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has told the State Assembly that he does what he says for the safety and security of all ethnic groups of the State, let alone STs and SCs.
Sonowal said this on the floor of the State Assembly that had its special session on Monday when the Resolution for extension of the ST/SC reservation for another ten years was passed. Moving the Resolution, the Chief Minister said “that this House ratifies the amendments to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of Clause (d) of proviso to Clause (2) of Article 368, proposed to be made by the Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill, 2019, as passed by the Houses of Parliament”. The State House passed the resolution unanimously.
Moving the resolution, Sonowal said, “I do what I say for the safety and security of all ethnic groups in the State, let alone STs and SCs. I’ll continue to do what I’m doing for the sake of Jaati, Maati and Bheti.”
On boosting the development process of the STs and the SCs, Sonowal said, “We’ve much to do for the development of STs and SCs in education. Their average literary rate is just 63 per cent. We’ve raised the Plan funds for the development of STs and SCs to Rs 4,200 crore. As of now, we’ve given pre-and-post-matriculation scholarships to 1.58 lakh ST and SC students. To secure the lands of STs and SCs, many steps have been taken under the new Land Policy of the State.”
Supporting the motion, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said, “It’s good that the development funds for SCs and STs have been increased. However, it is more important to ensure proper use of the funds. There were allegations of anomalies in the purchase of sewing machines for the STs and SCs. We’re talking of the development of STs and SCs; however, the hard fact is that there has been 25 per cent rise in crimes against STs and SCs.”
BJP’s Bhaben Bharali said, “For the development of the STs and SCs, the department needs to be reorganized into the Department of STs, the Department of SCs and the Department of OBCs. Such a move will ensure proper implementation of the schemes.”
Kamal Singh Narzary of the BPF said, “Even now many tribal belts and blocks are under encroachment in the State. The government should free such tribal belts and blocks from the encroachers first.”
AIUDF MLA Hafij Rashid Basir Ahmed also supported the Resolution.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary assured the House that all allegations of anomalies in the purchase of materials under the ST/SC schemes would be probed.