New Delhi: As the Center moves to accord Scheduled Tribe status to the Trans-Giri region in Himachal Pradesh, which would classify all residents as ‘tribals’, the state government may modify its proposal to make the Scheduled Castes will be kept out. range of moves.
Sources said the SCs of the area have some objections about granting ST status to all residents, and they want to retain their identity. There has been some opposition to this. It appears to be behind state flip-flops, though HP is yet to make a formal communication to the Centre.
Meanwhile, the state is also at loggerheads over pressure from the state to allow residents who become STs as a result of the proposal to remain in their original backward class list – like OBCs in the OBC list and SCs to retain their place in the SC list. As a result, well-established sources said, once the region is accepted as a tribal unit, its residents belonging to the backward classes will have dual caste membership, while the upper castes will be included in the ST list. will be included.
But the Center – the Ministry of Social Justice (MSJ) and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, argue that all the lists – SC, ST and OBC – are mutually exclusive, and a person can be a member of only one of them. The MSJ has recommended that any member who has been given ST status should be excluded from the SC and OBC list.
This has resulted in a serious stalemate, as sources said, with Himachal unwilling to bow down to its demand for dual caste status. To support its stand, the state argues that the same dual caste facility exists for the Jaunsar region of Uttarakhand and the Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh – both of which have ST status.
But the Center is not ready to accept such an argument. It argues that previous decisions were taken in the early years after independence, when there was not much clarity on these complex subjects, and similar steps can no longer be approved.
First reported by TOI, the Center has agreed to accede to Himachal’s demand for ST status for the ‘Hati’ community of Trans-Giri in Sirmour district. The Registrar General of India, which had rejected the proposal thrice in 1995, 2006, 2017, has also given his approval. Assembly elections are due in Himachal later in 2022, and the proposed move has serious political implications.