Ranchi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday cautioned the Hemant Soren government to check infiltrators from other countries, who, he said, are ”out to grab land in Jharkhand by marrying tribal women”.
Vote bank politics cannot be above protecting the sanctity of girls and women, he said virtually launching the campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha election at Chaibasa, about 150 km from here.
He launched a frontal attack on Chief Minister Hemant Soren, dubbing his government ”anti-tribal” and of ”looters and dalals” and played the tribal card. Shah claimed that corruption has peaked in Jharkhand under the JMM-led government, which has ”handed over” Adivasi land to the infiltrators. ”It is the Jharkhand people who made you the CM. You have handed over entire Jharkhand government to the hands of looters and dalals,” Shah said and accused Soren of ”destroying Jharkhand”.
Without naming any country, he said BJP condemns infiltrators marrying tribal girls and will wage a war against it. ”Infiltrators are forcibly marrying tribal girls and grabbing their land. I have come to warn the Hemant government … Jharkhand people will not forgive you. Vote bank can’t be above tribal interest. It is our duty to protect Advasi sisters and mothers. Your days are numbered,” Shah said addressing ‘Vijay Sankalp Maha Rally’.
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”Brother Hemant, open your ears and listen … Tribals will not forgive you if you play with the future of their sisters and mothers for votebank,” he said and urged the people to vote for BJP in Singhbhum where it had lost to Congress in 2019.
Shah began his address with the tribal greeting ‘Johar’ (salutation) to tribal icon Bhagwan Birsa Munda. He said it was the Narendra Modi government that restored the dignity of tribals and for the first time in India’s history a woman from the community (Droupadi Murmu) was made the country’s president.
He also recounted the state’s history saying it is the land of freedom fighters like Baba Tilka Manjhi, Veer Telanga Khadia, P Bhagat, Sidho Kanho, Ganpat Rai, Devi Phulo Jhano and Devi Manki Munda and was in the forefront for struggle for freedom as early as 1837.
Exuding confidence, he said the saffron party’s thumping victory in the next general election will be a ”trailer” for the state poll later in the year.
Keeping up his vitriolic attack, Shah said the JMM dispensation has indulged in looting the state’s mineral resources and has betrayed the tribals in the name of ‘khatiyan’ (land records). The Soren government, which has accused BJP of plundering the state’s wealth, had introduced ‘khatiyan’ to prepare a list of original residents of the state based on the 1932 land records which would implicitly identify a large number of non-tribals as later migrants.
Criticising it, Shah said, ”The land settlement of entire Chaibasa region was done in 1964, but the Government says it will give jobs on the basis of the 1932 khatiyan. Will the people from Chaibasa then get jobs? ”Why are you (Soren government) creating division (in society). Increase the number of jobs, and if you are not able to do, leave the governance,” the union home minister said.
He accused the Soren government of cheating youths in the name of jobs, children in the name of education policy and tribals in the in the name of khatiyan. He also accused Soren of misusing district mineral fund by changing norms meant for those displaced from mines areas and said out of the total Rs 63,858 crore disbursed by the Centre, Rs 8,301 crore was given to Jharkhand.
The budget for welfare schemes for Adivasis was expanded to Rs 86,000 crore against Rs 21,000 crore earlier. Water was made available to 1.3 crore tribals in state, 1.45 crore toilets were constructed and three crore farmers were given Rs 6000 through direct benefit transfer. The numbers of Adivasi Eklavya Awasiya Vidyalaya was increased to 680 from 167.
Listing the development work taken up by the BJP-led government at the Centre in Jharkhand, Shah said 90 lakh people had benefitted from Ayushman Bharat, 14 lakh got houses under PMAY and 27 lakh got the benefit of Kisan Samman. Fasal Bima was given to 44 lakh people and 22 lakh were brought under Ujjwala Yojana. Hospitals, airports and power plants were built in the state during its regime.
He said left wing extremism will be wiped out and less than 500 cases of extremist incidents were recorded in the state 2021 compared to 2,258 in 2009. Central forces have freed Burha Pahar, Chakrabanda and other places from their clutches by launching various operations and the BJP is striving for the state’s development.
The saffron party along with its alliance the AJSU Party had won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 riding the pro-Modi wave. The Congress and JMM had bagged one each.