Panaji, Sep 3 (IANS): A total of 16 Scheduled Tribe (ST) organisations, under the banner of Mission Political Reservation for Scheduled Tribes (MPRST), have unanimously passed a resolution to boycott the Lok Sabha elections next year if the Central government fails to provide them political reservation.
MPRST Secretary Rupesh Velip said that the members of the organisation are disappointed over the reply received from the Union Law & Justice Ministry and have resolved to boycott the election during a meeting held on Saturday.
The Ministry's Legislative Department stated that the exercise of reserving seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the state Assembly would only take place through a Delimitation Commission after 2026.
After receiving the letter, the ST community in Goa again warned of boycotting the Lok Sabha election in 2024.
In the recently-concluded Monsoon session, the Goa Assembly had unanimously adopted a private member resolution to make provision for reservation in the Assembly for members from the ST in the state.
"Many members of the community spoke against the present state government for not taking the issue seriously and not following up the matter with the Central government. In spite of giving assurance on the floor of the house, why has Chief Minister Pramod Sawant not taken an all-party delegation to the Centre," Velip questioned.
He said that the ST organisations have decided to organise ‘Boycott’ awareness meetings at every village panchayat level.
The first meeting would be held in the Sanquelim constituency of Chief Minister Sawant.
"It is resolved to boycott the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections if the Central government does not issue notification regarding reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Goa Assembly prior to the declaration of 2024 Lok Sabha elections," Velip said.
According to leaders of the MPRST, if the political reservation is granted, there will be four legislators in the Assembly by default. Currently there are four ST members in the Assembly, including Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar.