‘Recent Assembly polls results prove tribals warming up to BJP’

Underscoring the achievements of his government in bringing about changes in the lives of tribals in the state, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the community was lending support to the BJP, which was evident from the mandate the party was given in the states with significant tribal population, such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Speaking at a programme on "tribal rights and empowerment," organised at Jhalod in the tribal-dominated Dahod district, Modi said that the initiatives taken by his government towards the development of the tribal community in the last one decade far exceeded those taken by the Opposition Congress in the last 40 years.

"It is our fortune that the party has been given the mandate to serve the community in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the states which are together home to 40% of country's total tribal population. If there is a single party which has got the opportunity to serve tribal community, then it is the BJP," Modi said at a gathering of over 1 lakh tribals, many of whom were allotted land under the Forest Rights Act. So far, Gujarat has allocated land to over 64,000 tribal beneficiaries under the Act, while 1.10 lakh applications have been approved for allocation purposes.

"The mandate is a proof that the society has seen through the vote bank politics of Congress. Communities across Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste and minority have realised that without development, their life cannot improve. The mandate in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan shows that the SC, ST, poor and minority have accepted the path of development. This is the sign of a strong, bright India," he added.

Modi also highlighted the contribution made by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in setting up a separate ministry for tribals and appointing minister for tribal development, as well as separate budget allocation for tribal development, which did not exist prior to that. He also talked about the initiatives taken by his government towards tribal development. Modi emphasised on the rise in budget allocation for the Van Bandhu Yojana from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore, opening of schools, colleges and industrial training institutes, supply to eco-tourism in tribal regions, which largely stretch across the state's eastern belt.

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