Ahead of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Odisha during which he is scheduled to meet the Dongoria Kondhs, the CPI (Maoist) has slammed Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh for his double-talk on mining in tribal districts of the State.
Spokesperson for the Odisha State Committee of CPI (Maoist) Ajay, in a statement, said the Centre has been trying to hijack the struggle of the indigenous community against mining in Niyamgiri by painting a pro-tribal picture.
It is only an attempt to change its image, he added.
The outlawed outfit singled out Ramesh who has been vocal about the successful conduct of palli sabhas in 12 villages and said the Union Minister is trying to take credit for opposing mining at Niyamgiri.
If that is the case, why is Congress not opposed to mining in other tribal areas of the State, the spokesperson on behalf of Chhattisgarh Odisha Border Zonal Committee and Andhra-Odisha Border Committee said.
Tribals have been displaced by mining in Deomali, irrigation projects in Suk Tel and Polavaram but the party is silent these cases, he added.
The Maoist party also slammed the Congress for not opposing heavy deployment of security forces in villages which the members of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti belong to.
During the conduct of palli sabhas too, there was heavy security arrangement in the villages to create an environment of fear among the tribals and influence their voice but the national party did not make any mention of it, Ajay said.
The CPI (Maoist) said all the major political parties including Congress, Biju Janata Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party have no compassion for the tribals.
The Niyamgiri struggle, it said, will continue and spread to other tribal pockets where the governments - both at Centre and State - are pushing mining at the expense of tribals and their livelihood.