Uttar Pradesh finally gets two seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes

Allahabad High Court dismisses petition challenging ECI decision to reserve two UP constituencies for Scheduled Tribes, a long-standing demand of Akhil Bharatiya Gond Mahasabha and Congress

Photo courtesy: Youtube
Photo courtesy: Youtube
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NH Political Bureau

Decks were cleared on Thursday for two Uttar Pradesh assembly constituencies, Duddhi and Obra in Sonbhadra District, to be reserved for Scheduled Tribes by the Election Commission, when the Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition challenging the EC’s decision based on the Census of 2001.


Uttar Pradesh did not have a single seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes since 2000 when Chakrata, the only ST Assembly seat, went to the newly formed state of Uttarakhand. For the 2017 assembly election, the Election Commission has reserved both the seats for Scheduled Tribes.


Till 2012 Obra was a General seat and Duddhi reserved for Scheduled Castes. With Duddhi now declared reserved for STs, the number of seats reserved for SC in the state has gone down from 85 to 84. Census figures put the Scheduled Tribe population in Dudhi at 38.24% and 18.93% in Obra.


Akhil Bharatiya Gond Mahasabha and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had been raising the demand for several years. The Mahasabha leader Vijay Singh Gond had taken the issue to the Supreme Court which directed the Election Commission in 2012 for delimitation of constituencies but the directive came too late for the exercise to take place before assembly elections in 2012.

Uttar Pradesh did not have a single seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes since 2000 when Chakrata, the only ST Assembly seat, went to Uttarakhand. Now, for the 2017 assembly election, the Election Commission has reserved Duddhi and Obra seats for STs, with the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissing a petition challenging the EC’s decision based on the Census of 2001. Akhil Bharatiya Gond Mahasabha and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had been raising the demand for several years

In 2012, the UPA government passed a Bill to empower the delimitation committee to get revised data on the basis of 2001 and 2011 Census to notify ST reserved assembly seats in UP. This committee held a hearing session in Varanasi in 2013-14 and recommended that ST seats be declared.


The Gond Mahasabha claims that the absence of delimitation had deprived tribals in Uttar Pradesh from contesting in 208 panchayat elections. The number of assembly seats reserved for STs should also be higher, it says, with tribals constituting 1.82% of the population in the 1981 census.


The increase in ST population in the state is attributed to shifting 10 of the tribes from the Scheduled Caste list to the ST list between 2001 and 2010.

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Published: 09 Feb 2017, 4:01 PM