Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday accused the opposition Congress of only talking about the welfare of tribals to get their votes without actually doing anything for them, and added that the BJP, on the other hand, was committed to the development of the community.
He was speaking at the 'Gaurav Utsav' organised in honour of tribal icons and erstwhile Gondwana Empire ruler Shankar Shah and his son Raghunath Shah at Garrison Ground here.
"Congress always talked about tribal welfare in a bid to get their votes, but did not do anything for their well-being. Their intention was to divide the tribal votes by fielding different parties and faces. But the BJP is committed and worked for the development tribals whenever it got the mandate," he said.
The BJP has provided facilities to tribals, including houses, power supply in their areas, he said, adding that the party was now trying to ensure household water supply for them so that they can lead an honourable life.
Shah said that before the BJP came to power at the Centre, only Rs 4,200 crore were allocated for tribals in the 2013-14 Union budget.
"But the amount has now been raised to Rs 7,900 crore...The budget component for the tribal development under various ministries has also gone up to Rs 71,900 crore in 2021-22 from Rs 21,500 crore in 2013-14," he said.
Talking about various schemes launched by the Centre, Shah said that the coverage of scheduled tribal welfare works has been extended to 41 ministries.
The Narendra Modi government has set up 18 tribal research institutes in its first term and increased that number to 27 in the second term, he added.
Shah said that during the 'Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav', the ongoing 75th anniversary celebrations of India's Independence, the Centre has decided to revive the memory of forgotten tribal leaders, who fought and sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle.
"Even before the 1857 rebellion, tribal warriors fought for freedom and independence. Historians have forgotten these brave warriors. Nobody else sacrificed their lives for the Independence like our tribal warriors did," the Union minister said.
Recalling the fight of tribal warriors against Mughals and British rulers in different parts of Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere, Shah said that the Centre has announced to set up nine museums and highlight their (tribal freedom fighters') contribution, in different parts of the country, including Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Manipur and Mizoram at a cost Rs 200 crore, of which Rs 110 crore have been spent so far.
"We should not let those people succeed who are trying to divide the tribal community," he said.
Before his arrival at the programme venue, Shah was welcomed by MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his cabinet colleagues at Dumna airport around noon.
After that, he visited the memorial of erstwhile Gondwana Empire ruler Shankar Shah and his son Raghunath Shah, near Rani Durgawati Hospital, and paid floral tributes.
During the programme, Shah also laid the foundation stone for the construction of a museum in memory of father-son duo of Gondwana empire at a cost of Rs 5 crore.
Later in the day, Shah is scheduled to launch the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 2.0 by handing over cooking gas connections to beneficiaries at the Veterinary College ground, and will then take part in a function at Shahid Smarak later in the evening, a release said.
After that, he is slated to visit Narsingh temple close to Shastri Bridge at 6.10 pm. After visiting Dayodaya Teerth, a place of worship associated with the Jains, at Tilwaraghat along the banks of Narmada river, he would leave for New Delhi around 7.30 pm, an official has said.
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