Congress President Rahul Gandhi extended support to Dalit and tribal groups observing a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday demanding the Modi government to promulgate an ordinances to provide forest rights to tribals and job security for ad-hoc teachers.
In a tweet, Gandhi blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his "false promises" for putting Dalits and tribals in distress and compelling them to hit the streets in protest.
"Our tribal and Dalit brothers and sisters are in distress. There have been constant attacks on their rights to forest and life. They are in distress as their rights to forests are being snatched and Constitutional provisions of reservations tampered with," said Gandhi.
Supported by several opposition parties including the Left, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, the Dalits and tribals protested against the University Grants Commission's new 13-point roster system that will reduce jobs for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes.
Rahul Gandhi in February wrote to Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar urging him to restore the "200-point roster system" of reservation mechanism for faculties in universities.
Under the new 13-point roster system, each department is taken as a unit for implementing recruitment and reservation policy for teachers. Under the earlier system, the entire university was taken as a unit for reservation and recruitment.
The organisations are also demanding an ordinance over the now stayed Supreme Court order directing eviction of more than 10 lakh families of Adivasis and other forest dwellers from forest lands across 16 states.
The apex court on February 13 had ordered eviction of tribals in unauthorized possession of forest land but on February 28 put the order on hold.