BJP MLA Neeraj Zimba continues to exude hope that 11 Gorkha communities will soon be accorded the Scheduled Tribe status though it is seven years since the Bengal government mooted the proposal and the Centre didn’t commit even on Thursday on granting the tag.
Darjeeling MLA Zimba on Thursday took to Facebook to express his confidence that the tribal status and Gorkhaland would be become realities during the tenure of local party MP Raju Bista.
“I am very confident that it will be under the tenureship of our Hon’ble MP Sri Raju Bista Ji, our Gorkhas will achieve both our demands of #Permanent_Political_Solution and #Schedule_Tribe_Status of the 11 Leftout Gorkha Tribal Communities way before 2024,” wrote Zimba.
The tenure of the present Lok Sabha ends in 2024.
Zimba further said: “Note: “One fine morning” is not too far.”
Pratap Khati, a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League which is an ally of the BJP, had said last year that the 11 Gorkha communities would definitely be granted the ST status and hill people would wake up to find their status changed to the ST “one fine morning”.
A response by Renuka Singh Saruta, minister of state for tribals, is virtually silent on whether the Centre would make urgent intervention to examine the claim of the Gorkhas for the ST status.
Shanta Chhetri, a Rajya Sabha member of the Trinamul Congress, wanted to know the reason for the unprecedented delay (in granting the status) and the details thereof.
In her written reply to Chhetri on Thursday, Saruta admitted that the Centre had received a proposal from Bengal on February 28, 2014, for the inclusion of the 11 Gorkha community in the ST list. But the minister was vague on whether the Centre would make urgent intervention and the reasons for the delay.
The minister has informed that the Centre laid down modalities for deciding on the claims for the inclusion and exclusion of communities in the SC and ST list.
“As per the modalities, only those proposals which have been recommended and justified by the concerned State Government/UT Administration and concurred with by Registrar General of India (RGI) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes are to be considered and legislation amended. All action on the proposal is taken as per these approved modalities,” the reply states.
Applications under the RTIs had clearly stated the RGI had rejected the proposal.