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Rahul promises Rs 1 lakh to SC/ST women if voted to power

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Seoni, April 8: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday exuded confidence about winning the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and announced a party-led government will transfer Rs 1 lakh annually into bank accounts of women belonging to SC, ST, and backward categories.
Reaching out to tribals in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said they are the original owners of the land and bemoaned that no individual from the community is among promoters of the top 200 companies in the country or part of their senior management. Addressing a rally at Dhanora in Seoni district, part of the Mandla Lok Sabha constituency which will vote in the first phase on April 19, he assured to provide guaranteed apprenticeships to unemployed youths if the Congress formed the next government at the Centre. He assured that if the Congress came to power, it would settle the indigenous people’s claim on their land in just one year. “Our manifesto mentions three to four revolutionary steps like transferring Rs 1 lakh into (bank) accounts of women belonging to SC and ST categories, backward classes, and for women from poor families’. (PTI)
This way we will provide thousands of rupees in their accounts every month,” he said.
The Congress has fielded former minister and MLA Omkar Singh Markam from the tribal-reserved Mandla constituency against the sitting BJP MP and Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste.
The Congress manifesto has also promised to double the money being paid to Asha (community health volunteers) and Anganwadi (child care centre) workers, Gandhi said.
“We will bring a new law to ensure that every unemployed youth in the country gets a one-year apprenticeship in public and private sectors during which they will also get Rs 1 lakh as allowance,” the former Congress chief said.
After completing the apprenticeship, they will get a job at the same place if they perform well, he added.
“After forming a government at the Centre, we will end the contractual system in employment and will fill 30 lakh vacancies in the government sector,” Gandhi said.
The Congress government will frame a law to ensure that farmers get adequate MSP for their crops for which they have been agitating for a long period, the Lok Sabha member from Kerala said.
Gandhi alleged the BJP has been purposely terming tribals as “vanvasis” (forest dwellers) instead of calling them “adivasis” (original inhabitants) with a motive to uproot them from their land and snatch their first right on the water, forest and land. (PTI)
“They want to give their (tribals) land to industrialists,” he said.
“The Congress calls you all ‘adivasi’ but Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and the BJP call you ‘vanvasi’. These two terms connote two different ideologies,” the Congress leader asserted.
“Adivasi means people who are the master of the land. They are the original owners of the land, water, jungle and wealth,” he added.
Gandhi said the Congress, when in power, gave land rights to tribals.
“Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Congress government gave you land rights,” he said.
“When adivasis ask for employment, education and compensation (for their land),” the BJP puts them in jail, Gandhi alleged.
He referred to the last year’s urination incident in Sidhi district where the victim was a tribal, and hit out at the saffron outfit over the unsavoury episode whose video had gone viral. The incident had caused a nationwide outrage, prompting then-Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to call the victim to his official residence and wash his feet as an act of atonement.
“A video went viral showing a BJP leader urinating on a tribal. They made it viral. First, they make a video and then make it viral,” he alleged.
The accused in the Sidhi incident was a member of a privileged caste and the Congress had alleged he was linked to a local BJP legislator, a charge denied by the saffron party.
Tribals constitute more than 8 per cent of the total population in India, but none of them were owners of the top 200 companies or part of their senior management, the former Congress president said.
“There is jut one adivasi bureaucrat among 90 IAS officers who are running the country and allotting budget (to different government departments),” Gandhi maintained.
Show me one adivasi owner of a media outlet or a news anchor from the community, he added, flagging their low representation in the media.
He said if the Congress came to power it would strictly enforce the Sixth Schedule (of the Constitution) to ensure decisions in tribal-dominated areas were made locally and not imposed by Delhi or Bhopal.
This Schedule would be enforced in areas where population of indigenous people was 50 per cent, said the Congress MP.
The Sixth Schedule provides for administering certain tribal areas as autonomous entities. PTI LAL MAS NSK RSY
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