Binay wants MoTA panel to submit ST report before Parliament budget session

Binay wants MoTA panel to submit ST report before Parliament budget session
Fri, Jan 11, 2019

Our Correspondent

DARJEELING: GTA board of administrators chairman and GJM chief Binay Tamang has demanded that the Centre committee formed to examine the Scheduled Tribe demand of 11 Gorkha communities should submit its report within two weeks so that its bill can be introduced in the ensuing budget session of the Parliament.   
Tamang, who held a meeting with the visiting Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) committee members tasked to examine the demand, said the GTA submitted the necessary documents to the committee today including the copies that had been submitted to the earlier such committees along with modified ones. “It was a good meeting and we have demanded that they should submit their report within two weeks so that the Bill for it is placed in this budget session likely to commence on January 21,” said Tamang.
The MoTA committee comprised joint secretary Meera Ranjan Tshering, director Gopal Sadhwani who also met the representatives of the 11 different communities along with the GTA. The third member Prof. Soumendra Mohan Patnaik, vice chancellor of Utkal University who was in Sikkim during the morning was likely to arrive by the evening.
The MoTA had formed the three-member committee on November 30, 2018 with the mandate to submit a report on the tribal status demand within three months by visiting Gorkha-dominated areas including Sikkim and Darjeeling region.
During the administrative meet, Binay Tamang raised the issue of the demand not getting clearance from the Registrar General of India twice and sought the technical reason behind the rejection. He also criticised the Bimal Gurung camp of the Morcha for not pursuing the demand in the past four years and criticised the Centre government for the delay.
“My core issue in the elections will be identity of the Gorkhas, safety and security of the Gorkhas and tribal status. With whichever party we will have an alliance these issues will be kept in the front,” said Tamang ruling out alliance with the BJP.
The GTA chairman also said the committee today maintained that they already have the earlier report of the Vishu Maini Committee but they were asking for the census which according to him the West Bengal government has already sent earlier on but the GTA would again send it.
On the other hand, the 11 communities’ representatives who met the committee today under the banner of the Gorkha Janjati Kalyan Samity and the United Gorkha Committee Forum were also of the view that the Centre had fooled them enough with no concrete measures being taken up till now even though two similar committees had been formed earlier and recently they claiming that the Bill would be placed this winter  session but no such thing being done.
One of the representatives of the communities, S.P. Pradhan said, “The promise of granting tribal status to 11 different communities has not been fulfilled as yet. After seeing with their own eyes and also maintaining that all the five criteria that needs to be there while giving tribal status has been fulfilled then why has tribal status not been granted. We have still not lost hope and feel that the Gorkha community will get justice due to which we placed documentations of some of the programmes we have done along with other documents.”
After the meeting the committee left for Bijanbari today and will be leaving the hills tomorrow.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
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