Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to amend the constitutional list of Scheduled Tribes as recommended by the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The bill was passed through the voice vote.

According to the bill, at present, there are 18 communities with their synonyms appearing in the illustrative list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

On the basis of recommendations of the State of Arunachal Pradesh, the bill provides for modifying Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, relating to the state.

The bill, which was passed by Rajya Sabha last week, was cleared by the lower house today amidst Opposition’s protest over the Pegasus snooping row and other issues.

While moving the bill for consideration and passage, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said the Opposition was not participating in the debate on a bill so important for the welfare of the tribal population.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said today is the World Tribal Day and his party wanted to congratulate and extend best wishes to the community.

Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said many tribal communities from the state were not included in the list even after independence, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now decided to give them a new identity.

The bill will be beneficial for lakhs of tribals, he said and asked the Opposition not to shout slogans before a tribal minister.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu taking to Twitter wrote, “For last 74 years, Arunachali tribes were referred by inaccurate names resulting in numerous hardships. All that changed today with passage of historic bill amending the nomenclature of these tribes. Thank you PM  @narendramodi  Ji for giving back the tribes their true identity.”