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ST dharna to get stay on G.O. vacated

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Display of strength: Girijans stage dharna in front of the RDO’s office in Tirupati on Monday protesting against the legal hurdles being created against reserving the Tirupati Mayor’s post for the STs.
Display of strength: Girijans stage dharna in front of the RDO’s office in Tirupati on Monday protesting against the legal hurdles being created against reserving the Tirupati Mayor’s post for the STs.

Demonstrators term PIL as a conspiracy to thwart the chances of an ST becoming Mayor

TIRUPATI: The row over reserving the Tirupati Mayor’s post to the STs appears to be deepening if the dharna held here on Monday by the Girijans (STs) demanding the government to take immediate steps to get the court stay on the G.O vacated is any indication.

Calculated move

It may be recalled that the ruling Congress government has presumably in a calculated move reserved the Tirupati Mayor’s post to the STs in view of a bitter infighting in its town party unit for the coveted post.

The government’s decision to reserve the seat to the STs came as a rude shock to the front-runners in the forward castes who were already flexing their muscles to knock away the rare privilege of becoming the first mayor of Tirupati after it was conferred the Corporation status. But the windfall for the STs has nonetheless touched off elation among them over the unexpected development.

But the elation remained short-lived following a PIL filed in the court challenging the government’s decision on the ground that the STs population in Tirupati was not ‘that much’ as to deserve reservation of the mayor’s post to the category. Following the petition, the high court stayed the G.O. which eventually resulted in a stalemate on the issue much to the frustration of the STs.

It is to bring pressure on the government to take immediate steps to get the stay vacated that the STs under the banner of their district organisation have today held a rally and dharna before the Corporation Office.

Wielding placards and shouting slogans the demonstrators termed the PIL as a conspiracy of the ‘upper castes’ to thwart the chances of an ST, for that matter a non-forward caste incumbent becoming the Mayor of the temple city.

Defective process

In the memorandum submitted to the Corporation Commissioner, they joined issue with the vested interests for ‘grossly under-rating’ the strength of the STs population in the town when it is more than 7000 spread over a dozen colonies in three divisions. They also faulted the petitioner insisting that there is a mere one ST voter in the 3rd Division and termed the entire enumeration process as ‘defective’. The demonstrators threatened to intensify their stir if the government failed to act suitably in the case and ensure status quo on the G.O.

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