Welfare schemes not reaching tribals: Rahul

April 26th, 2008 - 10:35 pm ICT by admin  

By Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi
Kanker (Chhattisgarh), April 26 (IANS) The government’s welfare schemes aimed at poor tribal people were not reaching them, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said after visiting some tribal pockets of Chhattisgarh Saturday. “Generally the impression that I got in Orissa - that the government programmes did not reach the tribal areas as they were cut off - is applicable here also (Chhattisgarh),” Gandhi told reporters.

“Our systems don’t reach the most backward areas. And the voices of the adivasis (tribals) are not clearly audible,” he reiterated, in reply to a question.

Later he said this could be one of the reasons for the proliferation of Maoist activities in the country.

On the issue of Maoism, which affects this region, and the government’s earlier attempt to counter it with the Salwa Judum movement, Gandhi maintained a discreet line. “The Supreme Court had taken a decision on the issue. It is the highest court and what it says is law. I respect its decision.”

Salwa Judum is a movement in which the state government helped people with arms to counter Maoist rebels. However, on March 31, 2008, a Supreme Court order said the state “could not give arms to somebody and allow him to kill”. It also condemned the government for the deplorable condition of Salwa Judum training camps.

Gandhi is on a four-day trip to Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as part of his so-called “Discovery of India” tours.

Gandhi said his endeavour was to hear the voice of people from the forgotten parts of India. “My responsibility is to come and listen to these voices.

When he was told of the criticism by the opposition that he should not indulge in ‘road-shows’ but solve people’s problems, he said: “If Rahul Gandhi has to hear the voice of the people he has to listen, but for the sake of the party this (roadshow) also has to be done.”

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