Goa's ST community warns Sawant govt on political quota issue

Panaji, Jan 23 (IANS) The Scheduled Tribe Community in Goa has threatened to take out a protest march on February 5 if the BJP government does not fulfill their long-pending demand of political reservation.

Joao Fernandes, President of Mission Political Reservation for Scheduled Tribes (MPRST) on Tuesday during a press conference alleged that the BJP government was taking them for granted.

The Goa Assembly session is scheduled from February 2 to 9.

“Many a times we pleaded to the state and central government to pass our demand for political reservation. But they failed to give us our rights mentioned in the constitution,” he said.

He said that though Goa legislative Assembly had unanimously adopted a private member resolution in July 2023, moved by ST leader MLA Dr. Ganesh Gaonkar, recommending the government to make provision for political reservation in the Goa Legislative Assembly for the Scheduled Tribes of the State, the government was not taking efforts to take ‘all party delegation’ to the Centre on the issue.

“Hence we have decided to stage a morcha at the Legislative Assembly on February 5, if it fails to fulfill our demand in the next 12 days. It will be a peaceful morcha. I request the government not to force us to hit the roads to pass this demand,” Fernandes said, adding that the government should not take their ‘curses’.

Spokesperson Govind Shirodkar said that this government is not serious about their demand and it is taking them for granted. “Chief Minister had assured to take an all-party delegation to meet Home Minister Amit Shah. But nothing has happened so far,” Shirodkar said.

“Our demand is that the government should issue notification before the Lok Sabha election takes place,” Shirodkar said.

In the past ST community took out rallies and tried to draw the attention of the government 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.



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