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Rahul Gandhi Promises Implementation Of Tribal Rights Bill In Poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan 

The tribal bill is not a gift, but right of the tribal people.

Morena (MP): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the BJP of giving a raw deal to tribal communities, farmers, Dalits and women while helping the rich.

He promised to implement the tribal rights bill in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

The Congress president was speaking at a rally of tribals and farmers organised by the Adivasi Ekta Parishad in Morena in Madhya Pradesh.

“Whenever the poor, tribals, farmers, Dalits and women came forward to seek land, forest rights and water, they were told the government does not have anything for them, but when the same was demanded by powerful rich persons, the present regime provides them land, mines and minerals readily,” Gandhi said.

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Talking about the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, he said, “The tribal bill is not a gift, but right of the tribal people. The tribal people must have their rights over land, water and forests.”

The Act was a key piece of forest legislation passed when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre.

If a Congress government comes to power, the tribal bill will be implemented in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, he said.

Gandhi also accused the BJP of weakening the Panchayati Raj system.

“The BJP has attacked the Panchayati Raj structure all over the country. Congress (government) had allocated Rs 35,000 crore for MNREGA scheme, but people like Nirav Modi escaped from the country by taking away Rs 35,000 crore of the banks and no action was taken against him,” he said, referring to the Punjab National Bank fraud case.

“Another industrialist, Vijay Mallya, ran away with Rs 10,000 crore of the banks and before escaping informed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley about it,” Gandhi said.

Jaitley has denied that Mallya had any discussion with him before leaving the country.

“We brought the land acquisition bill and made a provision that farmers will be asked before their land is taken away and they would be given compensation four times the market rate.

“But in 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power, we learnt that they wanted to scrap this law… Congress does not have many MPs, but all of them fought for your rights (against the new bill),” he said.

Also Read: BJP Works For Few Rich, Congress Thinks Of Poor: Rahul Gandhi

In the 2016 demonetisation exercise, black money became white, nobody went to jail and contrary to the BJP’s promise, no one received Rs 15 lakh in their bank account, he said.

“If a decision will harm the interests of the poor, I never go ahead with its implementation… BJP goes ahead with the implementation only if the decision benefits the rich,” he added.

“I am in politics since 2004 and you can check my speeches. Give me one example where I have made promises like depositing Rs 15 lakh in your bank account,” he said.

“In Karnataka, I promised that if the Congress returns to power, farmers will get a loan waiver. Accordingly, the chief minister implemented the decision after the new government was formed,” the Congress chief said.

Reiterating his allegations about the Rafale fighter jet deal, Gandhi said Modi cancelled the contract which the UPA had signed with France and inked a new deal to buy the aircraft at a much higher price.

The prime minister gave the offset contract to his “friend” Anil Ambani instead of the state-run company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, he alleged.

The Modi government has denied allegations of irregularities in Rafale deal and Ambani, too, has dismissed the Congress’s allegations that he got any undue benefit.

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