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UPA govt didn’t give land rights to tribals in UTs, says PM Modi

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-04-2017 PTI

Silvassa (Dadra & Nagar Haveli): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments of failing to allot land to tribal people in those union territory areas “where it had a direct control.”

He also accused the Congress-led UPA governments at the Centre of not fulfilling its duty of according land rights to tribal people and blaming the states instead for it.

Addressing a public meeting in Silvassa, he said while it is the duty of the Centre to accord land rights to the tribal people, the previous Congress government always blamed the states for it. “Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh saw best progress in giving land rights to the tribals. But the government of India and the Congress leaders used to instigate the tribals that the Modi government (when he was the Gujarart chief minister) was not giving land rights to the tribals,” he told the gathering.

He said when he became the Prime Minister, he realised it is the duty of the Centre and not the states to hand over the land rights to the tribals. “When I became the Prime Minister, I was stunned to find out that they (the UPA government) had not given the land rights to a single tribal person in the Union territories, where they had a direct control,” Modi said. “They were in power for 10 years, but they always put the states on the docks (for not giving land rights)... not even a single tribal in the Union Territory was given the land rights,” he said.

Modi said he was the first Prime Minister to visit this Union territory in the last 35 years. Earlier, erstwhile Prime Minister Morarji Desai had visited Silvassa. Before the meeting, Modi handed over the land rights documents to the tribals, gas connections to the women and other aids to the physically challenged people.

Also Read: Narendra Modi hints at rules for doctors to prescribe generic drugs

“After we came to power, we decided to give land rights to tribals. Tribals were tilling the land for years, but they did not get the land rights for years. Today, 2,325 families have been given land rights for the first time,” Modi said.

Modi promised houses to tribals in Dadra and Nagar Haveli under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna,’ by 2022. “We have conducted a survey in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. We found out that 6,234 people do not have houses in rural areas while 800 do not have houses in Silvasa town. All of them will get houses by 2022,” he said.

On the occasion, financial assistance and distribution of equipment to the physically-challenged was announced for 21,000 beneficiaries of different Central schemes. Modi accorded the financial assistance and distributed equipments to some of the beneficiaries. Continuing his broadside, the Prime Minister said the Congress contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on the plank of increasing subsidised gas cylinders from nine to 12. “But after we came to power, we have provided gas connections to 2 crore households,” he said adding that it has helped improve the health of women who used to cook using wood as fuel.

Referring to his government’s push for generic medicine, Modi said the poor should also get the medicines and asserted that the cheap medicine does not mean it lacks quality. He also cautioned people against the propaganda that generic medicines lack quality.

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