Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday promised implementation of the Constitution’s Fifth Schedule and the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act in tribal regions of Gujarat if the AAP is voted to power in the state. Kejriwal also guaranteed that Gujarat’s tribal advisory committee would be headed by a person from the community instead of the chief minister, as has been the case in the state.
The Delhi chief minister was speaking to reporters in Vadodara on the second day of his two-day visit to the BJP-ruled Gujarat, where the Assembly elections are due later this year.
He will address a rally at Bodeli in the tribal-dominated Chhota Udepur district of Gujarat later in the day. The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with provisions related to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
The PESA Act was enacted by Parliament in 1996 to ensure self- governance for people living in Scheduled Areas. The states were required to formulate rules for the effective implementation of the Act to strengthen gram sabhas in Scheduled Areas.
Kejriwal said, ”We will implement provisions of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution word to word. We will also strictly implement the PESA Act, which says no government can take action in a tribal area without the gram sabha’s consent.” ”There is a tribal advisory committee. Its work is to oversee the development of tribal regions, how to utilise funds. The law says that the tribal advisory committee chairman should be a tribal. In Gujarat, the chief minister heads the committee. This will be stopped,” he said.