VADODARA: Ahead of the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's rally in tribal-dominated Narmada district tomorrow, party leader Ahmed Patel today accused the state government of giving a "preferential treatment" to corporate houses over tribals in allocation of water of Narmada river.
Addressing reporters here, Patel, the political secretary to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, alleged that the state government has "failed to quench thirst of tribals" living near Sardar Sarovar dam.
"There is a clear discrimination by the BJP government in providing Narmada water. Corporate houses have been given preference over tribals in providing water (through Narmada canal network). Due to such a discriminatory policy, tribals are still facing acute water scarcity even today," Patel said.
The Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat said though he welcomed the decision by the state government to provide water to those living in far-flung areas of Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat, people living in tribal areas are still "thirsty".
"It is an irony that people living in far-flung regions are getting water while those living near the dam, including those in tribal-dominated Narmada, Chhotaudepur, Panchmahals and Dahod districts, do not get water from Narmada (canal network)" he alleged.
Rahul is scheduled to address a tribals' rally at Dediapada town in Narmada district in the poll-bound state.
Patel alleged the NITI Ayog has not allocated adequate funds to STs and SCs as per a population ratio. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government is diluting labour laws. The government has failed in providing protection to labourers," he said while alleging that Gujarat government is not implementing Forest laws which were framed during the erstwhile UPA government.