Vijayawada, Feb 7, 2019: State Assembly passed a historic Bill on Wednesday for granting Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians living in the State. Lakhs of Dalit Christians living in Andhra Pradesh had been demanding for a long time that Dalit Christians should be given the SC status. Many Dalit Christians are included in the BC Category status.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu several times assured the Dalit Christians that the State Assembly would introduce the Bill and make efforts to fulfill their demand. Finally, the State Assembly passed the Bill, which will be sent to Centre for further course of action.
Chandrababu Naidu speaking on the occasion said the TDP government would respect all religions. He said Dalit Buddhists and Dalit Sikhs are enjoying the benefits given to SCs whereas the Dalit Christians were being deprived of the benefits.
He told the House that a resolution has been passed to ask the Union government to amend the Constitution to give SC status to the Dalit Christians of Andhra Pradesh. He felt the Dalit Christians were facing discrimination in the society.
BJP floor leader Vishnukumar Raju said the BJP would extend support to the Bill. The State government also introduced six other Bills in the Assembly on Wednesday. Ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao and K Atchannaidu had tabled the bills for discussion in the Assembly.
AP VAT (Amendment) Bill 2019, AP Private Universities Establishment and Regulation Amendment Bill, 2019, AP Intelligent Global Hub for Digital Pedagogy Bill, AP Backward Classes Sub-Plan bill, AP Economically Weaker Sections of Citizens Bill and The Andhra Pradesh Economically Weaker Sections other than Kapus Bill 2019 were also introduced in the Assembly.
Earlier, the State Cabinet okayed the proposal granting 5 per cent reservations to the Kapus from 10 per cent reservations to be given for the Economically weaker sections in the State.