New Delhi, July 26: A bill to include Hattee community of Trans Giri area of Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh in the list of Scheduled Tribes was introduced in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday amid opposition walkout against the government's stance on the demand for a discussion on the Manipur issue.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda moved the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2022 for consideration and passage in the post lunch period in the Upper House of Parliament amid exchange of barbs between treasury benches and Opposition members who had staged a walkout. Monsoon Session 2023: Bill Introduced in Lok Sabha To Allow Use of Birth Certificate As Single Document for Admission to Educational Institution and Preparation of Voter List.

The Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill, 2022 last December. Once the Bill is approved by Parliament and the rules are framed, members of the Hattee community will be entitled to all benefits which are provided to members of the scheduled tribes, especially reservation in educational institutions and government jobs.

The discussion on the Bill took place in the absence of the opposition members. Taking part in the discussion, Mamata Mahanta (BJD) supported the legislation saying the Hattee community has been demanding for this for a long period, but said by just including them in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list, they will not benefit but efforts have to be made to provide them higher education and for their economic development.

BJP members Sikander Kumar, Sumer Singh Solanki, Ramilaben Becharbhai Bara, and Kalpana Saini (BJP) supported the bill, saying it reflected Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's 'sabka sath sabka vikas' motto. Monsoon Session 2023: Centre Introduces Two Bills for SC, ST in Jammu and Kashmir in Lok Sabha Amid Protest Over Manipur Issue.

Solanki alleged that Opposition members always stayed away from the House whenever there is a discussion on tribals as they never cared for the community. He said for five decades, the Hathee community of Himachal Pradesh has been asking for this step which the Congress government never considered.

Ryaga Krishnaiah (YSRCP) spoke in Telugu during the discussion on the Bill.

While taking part in the discussion on the Bill, M Thambidurai (AIADMK) also asked for the inclusion of certain communities in Tamil Nadu, including the fishermen community, in the ST list.