Jammu, Feb 12 (PTI) Separate delegations of Pahari community and Other Backward Class (OBC) met Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhawan Monday and expressed their gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for empowering them.
Interacting with a 120-member delegation of Pahari Community which included former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig, the Lt Governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to ensure that the benefits of Scheduled Tribes reservation is extended to Pahari, Padari, Koli and Gadda Brahmin this year and they are included in the Tribal plan schemes.
Sinha on Sunday termed as historic the passage of two bills by Parliament providing reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in local bodies and addition of four more communities -- Gadda Brahmin, Koli, Paddari Tribe and Pahari Ethnic group -- to the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Jammu and Kashmir.
An official spokesman said the Pahari delegation conveyed their heartfelt gratitude to Modi for empowering their community while safeguarding the interest of Gujjar, Bakarwals and other listed tribes.
"We are all brothers and working with aim of nation-building," the spokesman said, quoting the Pahari community members.
The former deputy chief minister lauded the central government and the Union Territory administration for fulfilling the long-pending demands of the Paharis and other communities.
Rafiq Shah, a Pahari leader, said that after 75 year of political and social slavery, justice has been delivered. "Today we are feeling empowered and free."
Senior leader Vibodh Gupta said Gujjar, Bakarwal and Pahari communities will work together for the development of J&K.
He said the ST community will play a major role in the developmental journey of the Union Territory.
The Lt Governor asked the community elders to constitute a 'Samiti' of prominent members for seamless coordination with government officials on the issues concerning the community and assured them that the issues projected by them will be implemented in letter and spirit.
The Lieutenant Governor also met an OBC delegation comprising political leaders and prominent citizens who expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and J&K administration for reservations in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Panchayats in the Union Territory.
It is for the first time OBCs will have reservations for grassroot democratic representation.
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