Launching a scathing attack on the state government, Congress said the BJP government of the state was anti-Dalit and anti-democracy.
Due to the delay in implementing the central government’s forest rights act, which was implemented in 2006, leader of the opposition in the Assembly, Shankarsinh Vaghela, on Tuesday said the Gujarat government had contracted chikungunya. He said only 22% tribal farmers had got their rights. The Congress leaders also pointed at the deteriorating condition of education, health and irrigation in the tribal areas of the state.
Vaghela said the state government had announced the distribution of land rights to 15,000 tribal farmers on Monday. “However, it gave land rights to only 11,145 farmers. That, too, due to pressure from the central government to submit the progress report on implementation of the forest rights act, 2006,” he pointed out.
Of the 1.92 lakh eligible tribal farmers, only 42,752 farmers have got land rights, which account for just 22.31%, claimed Vaghela. As a result, Gujarat ranked 11th in the country when it comes to giving land rights to tribal farmers, he explained.
Vaghela also criticised the state government for organising a huge programme to claim credit for completing the constitutional process. “As the state government is down with chikungunya, it has not taken any action yet,” he charged, adding that a majority of the tribal farmers had not got even one acre.
Anil Joshiyara, the Congress MLA of Bhiloda, punched holes in the government’s claim of development in the tribal belt. “At 11 Eklavya schools across the tribal belt, there are only 286 teachers against the need of 425. The government does not recruit permanent teachers. It only employs them on 11-month contracts, affecting education in the tribal belt,” he said.
Joshiyara also said that the state government had allocated Rs1,900 crore to the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam as share capital from the tribal irrigation budget. But the tribal areas of South Gujarat were not going to benefit from this irrigation scheme.