LS passes bill to give tribal status to Betta-Karuba community in Karnataka

New Delhi: Lok Sabha on Friday passed a bill to include ‘Betta-Kuruba’ along with ‘Kadu Kuruba’ in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka.

Piloting the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fourth Amendment) Bill 2022, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said that it seeks to provide justice to the Betta-Kuruba community of Karnataka.

The minister said that the community has only 5000 members living in Karnataka.

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“The state government of Karnataka has requested to include ‘Betta-Kuruba’ community as a synonym of ‘Kadu Kuruba’ in entry 16 in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Karnataka,” said the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill.

Responding to the issues raised by opposition members, Munda alleged that the Congress has not done anything for the welfare of the tribal community and is now shedding crocodile tears.

Munda said the Modi government is trying to give justice to all sections of society.

Once the Bill is approved by Parliament and the rules are framed, the members of the Betta-Kuruba community will be entitled to all benefits which are provided to the members of the Scheduled Tribes, especially reservation in educational institutions and government jobs.

Participating in the discussion on the bill, several members of the opposition parties said that only including communities in the ST list will not help and the government should consider taking welfare measures for them as well.

Congress member K Suresh said that the government has brought this bill for vote bank politics.

He alleged that tribal communities are facing some serious issues pertaining to education, health and employment.

JD (U) member D Kamait also asked for increasing allocations for tribals.

BSP member Danish Ali alleged that the government is anti-tribal and “they work against that community”.

He demanded a caste census in the country and its report tabled in parliament.

Pratima Mandal (AITC) said that the tribals have become landless refugees and that the government should address their concerns.

R Shewale (SS) raised the issue of a 50 percent cap on reservations.

Supriya Sule (NCP) said that the government should bring a comprehensive bill in the House.

CPI (M) member M Ariff said that the government has not taken steps for the welfare of SCs and STs.

ETM Basheer (IUML) said that “only including them in the ST list will not help as they are in very poor condition”.

NK Premachandran (RSP) said that this government is not serious about the legislative practices of parliament. “They should bring a comprehensive bill,” he said adding only inclusion in the list will not help as there are no jobs for them due to privatisation.

He also asked for the re-introduction of scholarships for the community.

Other members who participated include Arvind Sawant (SS), Jual Oram (BJP), SS Ulaka (INC), S K Udasi (BJP), Tapir Gao (BJP), A Samanta (BJD), C Anuradha (YSRCP), and Umesh Jadhav (BJP).

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