House adjourned four times over status of converted tribals

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Ranchi, Mar 12 (UNI) The rejection of the Treasury Bench to take up the issue of status of converted tribals for a debate in the Jharkhand Assembly created noisy scenes leading to adjournment of the house four times today.

The BJP-led Opposition expressed concern over the matter, alleging that the conversion rate was alarmingly high in minority educational insititutions, where the children were being admitted only after conversion.

Chaos reigned in the House with the Opposition pressing for a reply from the government on the religious status of the converted tribals in the state.

The House, which was adjourned three times during the first half, also witnessed uproarious scenes over the same issue after the recess, compelling Speaker Alamgir Alam to adjourn the House for the fourth time.

Before the adjournment, the Speaker suggested the Treasury to ponder over the issue and talk to all political leaders outside the House for a consensus, to which Chief Minister Madhu Koda said he would look into it.

BJP member Chandresh Oraon, during his Call Attention Motion, wanted to know the government's stand on the converted tribals' status in the state.

The matter suddenly turned into a heated debate with even Mr Girinath Singh (RJD), partner of the ruling UPA, suggesting a House committee.

Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi rejected the offer saying the Supreme Court had already made clear pronouncement on the matter in February, 2004.

Mr Marandi said the tribals, who strictly adhered to their traditional rituals and norms, should be able to avail of the privileges facilitated to them.

He said after the apex court's verdict, the state was not required to make an issue out of it as the court guidelines laid in this regard were clear.

Mr Oraon, the mover of the Motion, said those who had abandoned their traditions and culture were not entitled to reservation.

State Administrative Minister Dulal Bhuyian said the BJP was ''staging drama'' as per directions by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on this particular issue, whereas Inder Singh Namdhari (Independent) advised to seek advice from the advocate general.

UNI PRS-AM DPM/src SBC RN1839

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