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Modi govt spending Rs 89k cr for tribal welfare, says Shah

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SATNA, Feb 24 (PTI): Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday said the Narendra Modi government is spending Rs 89,000 crore for tribal welfare when compared to Rs 24,000 crore during the Congress-led UPA dispensation, which used to ignore the community and its icons.

He was addressing the ‘Kol Mahakumbh’ on the occasion of Shabri Mata Jayanti in Satna in Madhya Pradesh, where Assembly polls are to be held at the end of the year and Scheduled Tribes make up a sizable part of the electorate.

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“The Congress government used to spend Rs 24,000 crore for the development of tribal communities. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this figure has gone up to Rs 89,000 crore,” he said.

He went on to add that the Congress, which ruled the country for a major part since Independence, never thought of making someone from the tribal community the President, whereas the Modi government had ensured the top post went to a woman from a poor tribal family.

Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as President of India on July 25 last year. She is the first from the tribal community and the second woman to hold the country’s top post.

The Modi government is constructing memorials to honour tribal icons who played a stellar role in the freedom struggle, he said and cited MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s move to build a memorial dedicated to Shankar Shah and Raghunath Shah.

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The ‘Kol Garhi’ associated with the Kol tribe will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 3.5 crore, Shah added.

Attacking the previous Congress government in the state under Kamal Nath, the Union minister said it had stopped welfare schemes started by Chouhan.

The Nath government was in power from December 2018 till March 2020.

The Modi government is committed towards the development of tribals, Scheduled Castes, the poor and the backward by giving five kilograms of food grains free, providing houses to more than three crore persons, free medical treatment of up to Rs 5 lakh as well as building toilets in 10 crore homes, Shah said.

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“Ten crore toilets have been built in the houses of the poor. Tribals have benefitted most from this scheme,” Shah said.

He said tribals must vote for BJP in the Assembly polls scheduled for the end of the year in the state so that more development works can be completed for them.

Satna is one of the seven districts of Vindh in Madhya Pradesh, and the BJP won 24 out of 30 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls in the region.

The Congress, which had come to power at the time, could get just six seats, while it could not open its account in four districts.

A worry for the BJP is the inroads the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has made into the region.

AAP had won the mayoral poll in Singrauli and had won a good chunk of votes in the local body polls held last year.

CM Chouhan, Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste, state BJP chief VD Sharma, among others, were present at the event.

Shabri is revered as an epitome of devotion in the Ramayana for her act of tasting berries before giving it to Lord Ram to ensure none of them were sour.

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