Gadkari forms panel to study tribals’ problems

via PNS | New Delhi published on February 2, 2010

Continuing his efforts to win over the ‘last man in the queue’, BJP chief Nitin Gadakri on Tuesday constituted a study group of party leaders to examine the issues and problems related to Scheduled Tribes.

The group would visit different parts of the country and prepare a report based on which the party would give shape to an ‘action plan’ to addressing the problems of the tribal community. Some of these recommendations of this group might be implemented by BJP ruled States.

The study group will be headed by former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda and includes Anant Naik, Jual Oram, Vishnu Sai and Faggan Singh Kulaste.

“The Study Group will visit tribal areas, especially in NDA-ruled States, and prepare a report on the problems and issues concerning tribals,” Munda said after a meeting of Tribal Affairs Ministers of NDA-ruled States chaired by party chief Nitin Gadkari.

The issues include education of tribals, their access to forest produce, land acquisition grievances, development of villages, participation and strengthening of panchayats, and electrification. “The group will also look at ways to protect the tribal culture,” Munda said.

When asked if the study group would also investigate the impact of Naxalism on tribals, Munda said the issue was on the agenda of the team. However, the issue of re-conversion of those who left Hinduism is not on the list.

“This (re-conversion) is an independent issue. But those who want to come back (to Hinduism) are welcome,” Munda said. Senior BJP leaders Bal Apte and Devdas Apte will act as mentors for the group.

Gadkari had recently convened a meeting of the Finance Ministers of BJP ruled States to discuss measures needed to give a ‘pro-people’ to the Government.

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