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NC always supported ST status to Paharis: Omar Abdullah
Damage control
2/7/2024 10:36:02 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Feb 7: Realizing that BJP will reap huge political benefits after granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Paharis, former Chief Minister, and Vice President of the National Conference Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that his party has been supporting this demand since long.
“We have never opposed ST status to Paharis. It was the National Conference which supported this demand when ST status was granted to Gujjars and Bakewals in the early 1990s”, Omar said while reacting to the passing of the “Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Schedule Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023”.
“Our concern is only share of the Gujjars and Bakerwals”, Omar said.
“We have been old advocates of this issue. Ever since ST status was given to Gujjars, the government of that time led by my father wrote an official letter to the then Prime Minister to grant ST status to Paharis”, Omar said and reminded that during his tenure as Chief Minister, this issue was formally taken up with the government of India. “During my government time, we passed a bill in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council to give four percent reservation to Paharis because we did not have the full 10 percent available to us”, he reminded.
“Our only demand is that the share of the Gujjars should remain intact and Pahari should get their own share” he said.
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