Darjeeling, June 3: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today advised Trinamul women chief in the hills, Sharda Subba Rai, to consult her party leadership before making statements on granting tribal status to 11 communities.
"The statement issued by Sharda Subba Rai, the Trinamul candidate who lost the recent Assembly election from Darjeeling, clearly suggests that she is unaware of the developments over the tribal status issue. It is also very clear that she has not consulted senior Trinamul leaders and we suggest that she be clear on an issue that is as important as granting tribal status before making any comments," said Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary of the Morcha.
The Morcha was reacting to Subba's charges that the hill party and its ally at the Centre, the BJP, were not sincere on the tribal issue.
|Central committee formed to look into the demand for ST status to 11 hill communities|
"On May 25, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the introduction of two bills in Parliament to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in five states - Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura - and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry," Sharda Subba said had said.
Five communities from Chattisgarh, two each from Assam, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu and one each from Tripura and Puducherry have been identified, the Trinamul leader had said.
"The Morcha is an ally of the BJP but there was no mention of a single community from the hills. This clearly proves that both the Morcha and the BJP are not sincere about the demand and are only using it as an election plank as municipal polls are due this year and GTA elections next year," Sharda Subba had said.
Tamang today said: "On April 2, the Centre formed a committee to look into the demand of granting ST status to 11 communities. Whereas in the case of the committees that were recommended on May 25, such a committee had been formed in 2013. It is after the report of the 2013 committee that the Centre is now preparing to place a bill in Parliament. Our case is different as the committee has only been formed now, that too because of our incessant pressure, and we are confident that the recommendation from this committee will be favourable for us," said Tamang.
"The developments clearly suggest that Sharda Subba Rai is confused on the issue," said Tamang.