New Delhi, Thousands of tribals, who reached the national capital in four fully-packed trains from Telangana, showed their solidarity at the Ramlila Maidan here on Monday.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Soyam Bapu Rao, who represents the Adilabad constituency in Telangana, led the rally demanding the removal of the Lambadi community from the list of tribals along with the enforcement of the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
Rao told : “We are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. All our demands will be placed before him. The BJP is sensitive about the interests of the tribals. We expected that Modi will definitely meet our demands.”
The rally, which started at 11 a.m., continued throughout the day. Tribal leaders from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra also reached Ramlila Maidan to join the protesters.
“The then Congress government in United Andhra Pradesh included the Lambadi community in the Adivasi’s list in 1976, whereas in other states, including Maharashtra, they are considered as backward class,” Rao said.
“Lambadi people from other states are settling in Telangana to enjoy the facilities being offered to the tribals. There were only 81,366 Lambadies in Telangana (undivided Andhra) in 1961. But according to the 2011 census, their numbers have gone up to nearly 21 lakh, whereas the real tribals make up a population of 14 lakh. In this situation, Lambadi people are enjoying the amenities like education, jobs and other such facilities,” said Rao.
“This rally is organised for the removal of the Lambadi community from the tribals’ list and for demanding other things for the tribals such as their sole right on water, forest and land. The rally is supported by all the 42 tribal MPs of the BJP. However, they could not reach the venue due to the ongoing Parliament session,” he added.