GUWAHATI, Dec 13 � Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Gogoi today stressed the need for exploring the feasibility of declaring Assam as a tribal State.
Reacting to the discussion on the issue of granting the status of Scheduled Tribes to six communities of Assam, the Speaker said that it is a serious issue and there is apprehension of deterioration of the situation as various tribal groups have started agitation on the issue.
The Speaker�s suggestion of granting tribal State status was supported by members of all the parties.
Earlier, raising the issue, Phani Bhushan Choudhury (AGP) said that all the political parties assure in their election manifesto that six communities would be given the status of Scheduled Tribes. But there are reasons to raise doubts on the sincerity of the political parties on the issue. He said that an all-party delegation of the Assam Assembly should visit New Delhi to put pressure on the Government of India to grant ST status to six communities of Assam.
Pallab Lochan Das (Cong) demanded that the tea tribes should be granted the status of ST as they get the same status in other States of the country.
In reply, the Minister in charge of Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes, Rajiv Lochan Pegu asserted that the Government is serious on the issue of granting ST status to six communities of Assam. He said that the Government also formed expert committees for each of the six communities for giving detailed report to the Government of India. If the Government of India needs any more information, the Assam Government is ready to provide all necessary information.