Assam Elections

Importance of Tribal Votes in Assam Elections

Importance of Tribal Votes in Assam Elections

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister announced status of Schedule Tribe to Bodos and Karbis living in the two hill district of Assam. This decision of announcement is influenced on the observation of Bodo People’s Front ally with Bhartiya Janta Party.

On 12 constituencies Bodo People’s Front has control over, the Bodo votes for the allies could range from 5,000 to 30,000 in 50 other constituencies.

In Assam, however there is still pending issue of granting 6 other communities the status of Schedule Tribe which was promised by Bhartiya Janta Party in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.In 2014, the 6 communities strongly voted for Bhartiya Janta Party.

The spread of Tribal Vote

12.41% of the vote share, hold by the Schedule Tribe Assam’s population as per the census 2001.For Schedule Tribe out of total 126 assembly seats, 15 seats are reserved. Karbi Anglong district holds 4 seats and Karbi tribe represents them.

In Upper Assam 3 seats are there that are represented by Mising tribe and Dima Hasao holds 1 which is represented by the Dimasa tribe.1 was represented by Rabha tribe but in 2011 has won by a Boro.6 are hold by the Bodoland autonomous districts, the Bodos had always these seats.

Since 2006, Bodo People’s Front had been backing up the Congress but last week shifted sides to the Bhartiya Janta Party and in 2011 won 5 unreserved seats.

“Bodos are 40.9% of the ST population, Mising 17.8%, Karbi 10.7%, Rabha 8.4%, Sonowal and other Kacharis 7.1%, Lalung/Tiwa 5.2%, Dimasa 3.4% and Deori 1.2% “.as per the Census.

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Approximately 50 per cent of the state population will become Schedule Tribe, if 6 more communities are given Schedule Tribe status.

For 2 hill districts, the list of Schedule Tribe status is different that are Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao and the other one is plains districts which holds the rest of the state. In the plains districts, 14 communities holds Schedule Tribe status and in the hill districts, 15 communities holds Schedule Tribe status.

“Who are seeking ST status?”

The current list of OBCs contains Koch-Rajbangshi, Matak, Moran, Tea, Chutia and Ahom. In 13th-16th century eastern Assam was ruled by The Chutias, capital at Sadiya. Until 1826, for 6 centuries nearly the Ahoms ruled and for about 400 years the Koch-Rajbangshis ruled.For the great Bodo-Kachari race both Moran and Chutia has roots in.

In the 19th century,people from Chhotanagpur known as Tea Tribes were brought by the British to Assam to work in tea plantations.

“Where do parties stand on the demand?”

Parties like AIUDF, CPM, CPI, AGP, Congress and Bhartiya Janta Party back it. In 2002,In the state Schedule Tribe status was granted by the Centre as it was moved by the Congress government but was obstructed by Bharatiya Janta Party led Centre said by Congress manifesto.In 2014, Lok Sabha manifesto Bharatiya Janta Party had also promised Schedule Tribe status to the communities.

In 2004, Unanimous decision was made by the Assam assembly in order to adopt a resolution to press the Centre to include these communities in the list of Schedule Tribe.

“How will conceding the demand affect the existing ST communities?”

Rabhas and Bodos are 2 very prominent Schedule Tribe communities and are opposed.Most of the seats that are reserved in medical, engineering and other colleges for Schedule Tribe would go to Koch-Rajbangshis, Chutia, Moran, Matak, Ahom as they are economically and intellectually well off.Bodos fear this that they will not even win one reserved seats.

“So, what is the latest official position?”

For allocating, Schedule Tribe status to these communities, the UPA government in Feb 2014, consisted a task force comprising Law, Culture, Social Justice, Secretaries of Tribal Affairs in order to prepare a set of ’ modalities’ for granting the status. Letters were sent out by the task force in June 2014 to multiple stakeholders in order to seek comments.

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On October 1, 2015 Tribal Affairs Ministry sought out fresh opinions from the state government. 6 communities delegation met union Ministers for Tribal Affairs and Home On August 6, 2015.Mr Modi told these communities that he will conduct a meeting soon.

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