Andhra Pradesh government passed a resolution to include Boyas, Valmikis and related sub sects of Andhra Pradesh in Scheduled Tribes (STs).
The government has put forth the matter before the central government to include Valmikis and Boyas in STs and provide them reservation accordingly. Currently they are in the Backward Class-A (BC-A) list.
In, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana and other states, the Valmiki-Boya community is already in the ST list.
The Boya-Valmiki community, who forms a major vote bank, has welcomed the move to fulfill their long-pending demand.
This decision may give ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) an edge ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.
On November 12, Leader of Opposition Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy promised to include the Boya/Valmiki community in the Scheduled Tribes list if his YSR Congress Party gained power in 2019.
However, the move is opposed by the Tribes including Chenchus, Yanadis, Erukalas and Sugalis, as they are not ready to share the ST reservation with Boya-Valmiki community.
They say that Valmiki Boya community was already enjoying BC status, as they do not belong to tribal community. They alleged that the state government was trying to grant ST status to Boyas only to gain political mileage.
The tenure of current Assembly will be completed on June 14, 2019. The state has 175 seats, and, currently, the ruling TDP has clear cut majority with 102 seats, and the main opposition Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRC) has 67 seats.