The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to exempt vehicles travelling to Bhopal to attend the ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ tribal convention, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 15, from paying the toll. Buses ferrying tribals to the rally, to be held at the Jamboree Maidan, will also have mechanics onboard to ensure quick repair in the event of the buses developing a snag during the journey. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has directed officials to take stock of the preparations for Monday’s programme in a meeting held on Friday, an official statement said.
“All the vehicles coming for the ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ programme in Bhopal will be free from (paying) toll tax,” the statement quoted Chouhan as saying. On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet had decided to declare November 15 as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ to mark the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda and honour the contributions of the members of Scheduled Tribes to Indian history and culture.
Meanwhile, the chief minister also directed officials to ensure that an ambulance accompanies the vehicles coming for the programme from distant and remote districts of the state.
The officials were also directed to ensure that the buses carrying tribals for the rally are fit for travel and subject drivers to breath-analyser tests.
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“This programme is being discussed in the entire country. There should be no shortage in the arrangements for safe transportation of all participants, their accommodation and food. It is our responsibility that the tribal brothers and sisters coming from different districts should arrive and reach back to their homes safely,” Chouhan said. According to BJP insiders, the saffron party was trying to ensure the participation of 2.50 lakh tribals in the event. Though the government is so far silent on the budget of the forthcoming convention, Congress MLA and tribal leader Hiralal Alawa had on November 11 alleged that CM Chouhan was diverting funds meant for health, education and development of adivasis for Modi’s publicity for the event.