The Nishad Party will be sending truckloads of signed letters from members of the community to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in support of its demand for the Scheduled Castes status.
The two-month signature campaign launched by the Nishad Party in February is about to end this month. In Uttar Pradesh, the Nishad community has been demanding inclusion in the SC category under four generic castes — Majhwar, Gond, Shilpkar and Turaha.
“We have started collecting details from every district about the number of signatures and signed letters that the party has received. We are getting the numbers counted for every district,” said party’s Uttar Pradesh-in-charge Shravan Nishad.
“We will send truckloads of signed letters and papers in support of our demands to the PMO. The party will send the signed letters to PMO to highlight its long pending demand at the national level. The party’s move is driven by its ambition to be more visible ahead of the state assembly elections and also be in a better position to bargain,” he added.
The signature campaign, the first major initiative by the party to find a toe-hold in the national political scene.
Its booth-level workers have been working overtime to collect maximum signatures in support of its demand. The drive has continued without a break since it was launched in the start of February.
Uttar Pradesh has 153 sub-castes of Nishads, some of which are in the OBC list, some in the list of denotified tribes and others in the SC list. Nishads want a common status for all, which is of an SC.
The state had in April 2019 issued a ‘majhwar’ certificate to Nishads in few districts, but the court later put a stay on it.
The state government has not pleaded to the court in favour of Nishad community till now, which brings the community back to the point from where they started their political fight.