Initiating a revolutionary step to politically empower marginalised sections of society, the J&K Government has for the first time reserved seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the urban local bodies.
According to a notification issued by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) dated August 20, some wards across the state, including two in the prestigious Jammu Municipal Corporation, have been reserved for STs.
“This initiative will prove as a stepping stone to the restoration of constitutional rights to the STs, which have been agitating for them since 1989,” said eminent scholar and tribal researcher Javid Rahi. He expressed his gratitude to former Governor NN Vohra for taking this historic step for empowering the weaker sections.
“Comprising nearly 15 per cent of the total J&K’s population, STs were being deprived of political reservations as the ruling class was not ready to ‘empower’ the tribal community,” Rahi said.
J&K is the only state in northwest India with a considerable number of STs in its population. Of the 14.9 lakh STs in J&K in 2011, there were 13.2 lakh Muslims, 1 lakh Buddhists and 67,000 Hindus.
12 tribes to benefit
- Bot of Ladakh
- Bedas of Kargil and Leh
- Moon of Kargil and Leh
- Purg of Kargil
- Balti of Ladakh region
- Dard/Shin of Gurez, Bandipur and Kargil
- Gaddi of Jammu region
- Sappis of Jammu province
- Garra of Ladakh
- Changpa of Changthangan
13 yrs on, civic polls likely in September
- The much-awaited urban local bodies elections are likely to be held in September
- The last elections to 79 urban local bodies were held in the year 2005, after a gap of nearly 23 years
- Despite setting repeated deadlines, successive governments failed to conduct these elections, resulting in lapse of huge funds from the Central government