Guwahati/New Delhi: In a letter to the centre dated 17th August, 2021, senior Congress leader and MP Abdul Khaleque requested the government to grant OBC status in Central list to those people of riverine areas who do not feature either in SC or ST list.
Highlighting the abject backwardness of the riverine areas, also called the ‘Char region’, Khaleque enumerated the socio-economic condition prevailing in these places where the people have been historically far behind others economically and socially.
“Constant erosion of riverine island does not allow construction of permanent infrastructure for economic purposes. Riverine areas are backward with minimum educational or health facilities. Overall development of the people living in riverine areas is of utmost necessity and for the purpose people living in these areas should be brought under special provisions for development,” mentioned the MP in the letter addressed to the Union Minister for Social Justice and Employment, Dr. Virendra Kumar.
The Union Minister for Social Justice and Employment, Dr. Virendra Kumar, in its reply stated that the letter has been forwarded to the concerned department for necessary action on the formal request by MP Abdul Khaleque.
It maybe mentioned here that a controversy erupted after the contents of the letter were floated in various social media platforms, where few have quoted that the MP is trying to help a ‘particular section’ of the people through the OBC status demand.
On this the MP clearly states that all will benefit (except ST and SCs who already are counted under the reserved categories of the central list), irrespective of their religion, class, creed or sex if the demand is fulfilled by the centre. “I am in no way working for one single community, but for the benefit of all who require attention from the Centre,” added Abdul Khaleque.