Raipur: Chhattisgarh Sarv Adivasi Samaj is one of the leading social organizations which holds a lot of significance in state politics. However, a recent development in the Samaj has divided into two factions with one group chaired by former MP Sohan Potai has opened a front against the state government and announced an agitation on July 19. Two days back, the other faction led by retired IPS Officer Bharat Singh has declared a new executive body under his chairmanship. This may prove a headache for the state government.
Soon it will be clear who are with the Samaj: Netam
Sarv Adivasi Samaj patron and former Union Minister Arvind Netam said that the executive body recently announced included retired officers in it who had been doing a ‘yes sir’ job and want to carry on this ‘legacy’ in the future. Soon it will be clear as to who is the well-wisher of the Samaj and fighting for the rights of the people. The president of the previously declared executive body BS Rawte said they have decided for agitation on the issues of Silger, reservation in promotion, and violation of the reservation roster of Swami Atmanand English Medium School. The retired officers have formed a new executive body to save the government on the aforesaid issues, said Netam adding the tribal leaders are not with them. This group has never questioned the state government about its promises, he said.
On the other hand, another executive body chaired by former president of the Samaj BPS Netam claimed that Arvind Netam, Nand Kumar Sai and Sohan Potai groups tried to hold an election forcibly in the meeting held on February 21 at Banjari Dham. However, the election was cancelled, but these groups wrongfully formed the new body where there is no such provision in the constitution of the Samaj. Elections were to be held at the suggestion of the Registrar on July 11. In July 11 elections, all the rules were followed. Election officers P R Nayak and N S Thakur executed the election process. Preparations are being made to send the list of the executive bodies to the Registrar, he said.
Sohan Potai Group
BJP MP from Kanker Sohan Potai (president), Administrative officer B S Rawte (executive president), retires IAS officer N S Mandavi (general secretary), Phul Singh Netam (treasurer), Vinod Nagvanshi and Jaipal Singh Thakur (secretary), Savita Sai (women wing president), Subhash Singh Parate (Youth Wing president).
New Executive Body
Bhata Singh who had been the IG of Surguja and SP of Mahasamund and Dhamtari was elected as state president, Senior District Registrar Madan Kurre as executive president, retired IAS officer HL Nayak as general secretary, former additional collector Phul Singh Netam as treasurer. Former Bank Officer BS Aatram was elected as secretary.
Vandana Uikey, daughter of Dr. Vedvati Mandavi and sister of MLA Laxmi Dhruw was elected president. Kundan Singh Thakur, who is considered as close to school education minister Dr. Premsai Singh Tekam was elected as president of Youth Wing.
The role of Chhattisgarh Sarva Adivasi Samaj has been crucial in elections
Chhattisgarh is house to 32 percent scheduled tribe. The tribal community had played a greater role in the last Assembly elections. BJP was washed out in tribal-dominated Bastar and Surguja divisions of the state last year and the reason was a decision taken by the previous government which had gone against them. Land Revenue Code provisions do not allow the transfer of tribal land to other people. The then BJP government however had brought a Bill that had provisions to sell tribal land to the government on mutual consent. This decision was strongly opposed. The tribal community people even burnt the effigy of the former Chief Minister and former revenue minister following which the Bill was taken back.