Raipur/Bilaspur: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Wednesday that the Raman Singh-led BJP government in Chhattisgarh has become a “champion” in snatching natural resources away from tribals and handing them over it to businessmen.
It diluted laws for this purpose, he alleged. “The people of Bastar have been bearing the brunt of this brutal Raman Singh government for 15 years. This government has done nothing except looting jal-jungle-zameen (water, forest and land) of tribals and handing them over to a few businessmen. “It has become a champion in it,” Surjewala said at a press conference in Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar district.
The government diluted the laws meant to protect the land of tribals so that it can be taken away, he said. The Congress spokesperson also accused the BJP government at the Centre and in the state of betraying forest-dwellers by reducing the minimum support price (MSP) for forest produce fixed by the earlier Congress government. In the last 15 years, the state government took away 90,000 acres of land from farmers, most of them tribals, and allocated it to businessmen, he alleged.
The Narendra Modi government at the Centre scrapped several tribal welfare schemes, reducing their number to 261 from 307, Surjewala said. In 2017-18, Rs 31,920 crore were allocated for tribal welfare schemes but only Rs 18,073 were spent, he claimed. Addressing another press conference at Bilaspur, Surjewala alleged that farmers and labourers were committing suicide under the BJP rule. As per the information given by the Union Government in the Lok Sabha, 2,391 farmers and labourers committed suicide in Chhattisgarh between 2014-16, he said. The state is going to the polls on November 12 and 20.