Baripada, March 8 (LocalWire) Mamata Mohanta, the leader named as one of the four Rajya sabha nominees the ruling Biju Janata Dal declared on Saturday said she will urge the government to provide tribal tag to the Kudumi community.
The state has more than two million Kudumi population including half a million in Mayurbhanj district, Mohanta’s home.
The community has been demanding tribal status for last several years citing that they were categorised as tribes before 1950, a tag later withdrawn.
“Our culture, customs and day-to-day practices remain the same, we need this status and I will fight for it,” Mohanta told LocalWire, hours after her name was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
She said her primary focus will be to work for the interest of the district and the state, especially for women.
‘I started my political career in 2012. I have come in contact with a large number of both tribal and non-tribal women. We need to make them self reliant. The state government has been empowering them” she said.
“I am actively involved with different women self-help groups and I and aware of their problems,” she said.
Mohanta, who is from Kudumi community also said she will work for the overall development of the district.
Mohanta, a resident of Nangalabentapokharia village under Bisoi block is the wife of a police constable.
Inspired by husband
She says it is her husband who inspired her to join politics.
She formed a women self-help group and worked for the community.
Her power politics started when she was elected as a Zilla Parishad member in 2012.
“I will perform any duty I am assigned by the Chief Minister, my supreme leader, she said.
BJD eying Kudumi votes
In 2019 election the BJD secured only three assembly seats while six went to its opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BJD has promoted Mahanta so that it can consolidate the Kudumi votes, political analysts said.