New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) Sualgiri and Swalgiri castes will now be included in the Scheduled Castes list of Odisha, with Parliament today passing a bill in this regard.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha, also replaces the term Union Territory of Pondicherry to Puducherry in Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964.
The bill had been approved by the Lok Sabha on March 23.
“This bill seeks to give Odisha some special treatment and also seeks to change the name of Pondicherry to Puducherry,” Minister of state for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale said while moving the bill for consideration.
The Sualgiri and Swalgiri castes were found synonymous with Sabakhia caste, which is already included in the list of Scheduled Castes of Odisha.
Replying to a brief discussion on the bill, Athawale said the government will look into demands of members regarding reservation of jobs in Judiciary.
“We have not yet decided on reservation in judiciary and private sector. It is a long pending demand. Since members have again raised the issue, we will look into it,” he said.
Participating in the debate, PL Punia (Congress) demanded reservation in the private sector for SC/ST categories as there was lack of government jobs in the country.
“SC/STs are facing hardships and it should be looked into by the government which is shying away from doing it,” Punia said.
Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) asked the government to define various castes in Uttar Pradesh. He said the earlier SP government in UP had approved the initiative and now the onus is on the central government to clear it.
K Somaprasad (CPI-M) wanted reservation for SC/STs in judiciary and defence forces.
V Vijaysai Reddy (YSR Congress) said the government should include fisherman community in the SC/ST list.
He also demanded SC/ST status for people who have converted to other religions like Christianity and Buddhism.
This was supported by Congress member T Subbarami Reddy However, members of treasury benches opposed it.
After the passage of the bill, Congress member Digvijay Singh again wanted to know the fate of his substantive motion to discuss the conduct of Goa Governor.
He asked the Deputy Chairman to list the matter tomorrow.
However, Kurien said that “As far as the Chair is concerned, it has been admitted. Time has to be given by the treasury bench…We have not got the time and date from the leader of the House or from the government”.
Singh said the Leader of the House (Arun Jaitley) had principally agreed that motion should be taken up.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said there is some technical issue in taking up this matter and Singh knows that.
To this, Kurien said, “we don’t know what transpired between Digvijayji and the Leader of the House”.
Supporting Digvijay Singh, CPI(M) member Tapan Kumar Sen said it was a bad precedent that the motion is not being taken up despite being admitted.
He said the motion should remain alive till the next session.
Kurien retorted that the notice for the motion could be given again in the next session.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.