BJP should clarify whether ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’ includes ST community: Goa Forward Party

Panaji, Jan 22 (IANS): Alleging that double engine governments have failed to give political reservation to the Schedule Tribe community of the coastal state, the Goa Forward Party has demanded a clarification whether ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’ includes the ST community.

“The ruling party must clarify whether ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’ includes the ST community of Goa. I have repeatedly voiced and fought for the long-pending demand of political reservation for the community but the BJP governments stand united in their decision to deny it,” GFP MLA Vijai Sardesai said.

“I had written to the Union Law Minister in April 2023 to this effect, and followed it up with a RTI plea, only to be told that they haven’t even received the letter! I’m appalled by the callousness with which the BJP handles ST community issues, and I assure the community that I will never let this issue be swept under the carpet,” Sardesai added.

Some ST communities were in the OBC category since 1968, but during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government in 2003, Gawada, Kunabi and Velip (three tribes) were declared as Scheduled Tribes by the Goa Government.

In the past the ST community took out rallies and tried to draw the attention of the government towards its demand for political reservation.

According to them, there are around 1.30 lakh ST voters in Goa and hence, they should be given political reservation.

In May 2023, the ST community members held a meeting at Lohia Maidan in Margao and resolved to boycott the Lok Sabha election in 2024 if their demand for political reservation was not conceded by the government.

Opposition parties have criticised the BJP Government over the issue alleging ‘double engines’ have failed.



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Title: BJP should clarify whether ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas’ includes ST community: Goa Forward Party

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