Issues not addressed by successive govts, rue Gujarat tribals

Gujarat

community from the BJP.

He said land entitlements have been provided to only 18 per cent of tribal community land holders by the state.

"The slow movement on this issue coupled with the fact that Congress party's ability to raise issues of tribal community and help it reach a conclusion has forced the

community to lean towrds the Congress.

"BJP's work for tribal community is more on paper and less in action while the Congress has at least tried to address their issues. This is primarily the reason why the

tribal community has been the traditional votebank of the Congress party," he said.

Notwithstanding these factors, the BJP exudes confidence of winning at least 20 of the 27 ST seats across the 12 districts.

BJP ST Morcha president Ramsinh Rathva told PTI, "We will win 20 of the 27 seats across the 12 tribal districts. The Congress might have held sway over the tribal community seats earlier on but this time, the BJP will emerge victorious on majority of the seats."

Reacting to allegations of high malnutrition rate among tribal people, Rathva said, "If the Congress party was really concerned about the issue, they should have addressed it when they were in power for 40 years in the state."

Congress ST cell president Naranbhai Rathwa countered the claims made by BJP government, saying that the government has not utilised funds for the benefit of tribal community.

The former MP claimed that the state government has failed to provide basic facilities like drinking water, proper roads and electricity connections in these areas.

"The Congress party is confident of retaining seats in tribal districts. BJP is only winning in the name of Modi. Their MLAs, even in tribal districts, have not done any

constructive work.

"The party will win majority of the seats in Central and North Gujarat and I'm saying this on the basis of grass-roots level work undertaken by the party," Rathwa claimed.

... contd.

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