Centre lacks political will to grant ST(P) status: CPI

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Guwahati, Nov 3 (UNI) The CPI today accused the Centre of lacking the political will to accord Scheduled Tribe(Plains)(ST-P) status to six communities in Assam, a long-standing demand of the communities.

Addressing a press conference here, CPI national executive member Pramod Gogoi said, ''The Centre lacks the political will to grant ST(P) status to the six communities.'' The six communities, namely Koch-Rajbonshi, Tai-Ahom, Motock, Moran, Chutia and Tea Communities, have been demanding ST(P) status, but the Centre had rejected their demand in the last Parliamentary session.

The CPI demanded the tabling of the Bill for granting of ST(P) status to these communities in the next Parliament session scheduled this month and cautioned of massive agitation if the government failed to bring in the Bill.

Mr Gogoi informed that a CPI top delegation had met Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil over the issue on November 1 and apprised him of the current status.

''Mr Patil was responsive and has asked for a copy of the unanimous resolution passed by the state Assembly in 2004, recommending the accord of ST(P) status to these communities,'' Mr Gogoi said.

The CPI leader also pointed out that all political parties were in favour of the demand, which was not the case in similar special status demand by various communities in other states.

He also proposed that the new communities should be granted reservation under additional quota and the existing privileges of the already recognised communities should not be altered.

UNI

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