In ‘ideological battle’, Rahul rakes up Adivasis Vs Vanvasis debate

Former Congress chief termed the contest an ideological battle between those who’ve always believed the tribals being Adivasis versus those who consider the tribals Vanvasis.
In ‘ideological battle’, Rahul rakes up Adivasis Vs Vanvasis debate

BHOPAL: Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi launched his party’s campaign for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh, with twin rallies in tribal reserved Mandla and Shahdol constituencies on Monday.

He termed the contest an ideological battle between those who’ve always believed the tribals being Adivasis versus those who consider the tribals Vanvasis.

“The Congress has always believed in the concept of Adivasis (the original residents/owners of the country and resources), while the RSS-BJP furthers the concept of Vanvasis (those living in jungles, but not having ownership/rights of the resources there). This election is the battle between these two ideologies,” Rahul said.

“The Congress regimes brought the PESA law, land acquisition and tribal bills to render the rights of tribals to them,” he said. “On the contrary, the BJP regimes work to snatch away land of tribals and give them to wealthy industrialists,” said Rahul.

“When the tribal youth ask them (BJP) about why there weren’t jobs and adequate compensation not given to them in return for land, the tribals are put into jails,” he alleged.

Raising the July 2023 episode of a viral video in which the alleged representative of a BJP MLA was seen urinating on a tribal man in MP’s Sidhi (it also goes to the polls in the first phase), Rahul said, “Not only did the BJP man pee on the tribal man on camera, but the same people also made that video viral.”

Gandhi also highlighted the poor and tribal-centric promises of the Congress’s LS polls manifesto.

“Once our government is formed at the Centre, we’ll implement the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in all those areas, where tribals constitute 50% or more of the total population,” he said.

“We will ensure that tribals run their areas through their own government and not through Delhi or Bhopal. The scholarships for the SC/ST and OBCs will be doubled, forest rights claims (including land rights) will be given to the tribals within a year,” Rahul added.

“Our manifesto also mentions transferring Rs 1 lakh into (bank) accounts of women belonging to SC and ST categories, backward classes, and for women from poor families. This way we will provide thousands of rupees in their accounts every month,” said Rahul.

BJP minister’s picture on banner in Gandhi’s rally

The Congress was left red-faced after a video surfaced on social media, showing a picture of Union Minister and BJP candidate Faggan Singh Kulaste on a banner at Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla Lok Sabha seat on Monday. While the Congress termed the goof-up a “human error”, MP Chief Minister Mohan Yadav said the opposition party had accepted defeat even before the elections. The purported video showed a picture of Kulaste on a banner serving as a backdrop of the stage at the rally scheduled later in the day at Dhanora under the Mandla Lok Sabha seat.

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