Himansu Shekhar Rout

Two days after the Odisha government withheld the Cabinet's decision to amend an old legislation to allow people belonging to Scheduled Tribes (STs) to sell their land to non-tribals, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a complete withdrawal of the proposed legislation.

Addressing a press meet in Bhubaneswar on Monday, BJP leader and the chief whip of the Opposition party, Mohan Majhi took a swipe at the state government, alleging that it has hatched a deep conspiracy to render the tribal people landless. He demanded immediate withdrawal of the proposal, which he termed as ant-tribal. 

“It is a matter of surprise to see how the state government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has been bragging a lot about the development of the tribals, could turn against them,” the BJP leader lamented, demanding immediate withdrawal of the controversial proposal.    

Majhi said that unless the decision is cancelled permanently, the BJP, as the main opposition, will strongly protest it outside and inside the Assembly and raise the issue in the winter session starting from tomorrow.  

However, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) countered the attack of the BJP, asserting that the state government has not adopted any policy against the tribals. 

Also Read: Odisha cabinet decision on transfer of tribal lands withheld; Opposition threatens stir demanding withdrawal

BJD MLA Padmanabha Behera said, “The state government has never adopted any anti-tribal policies. The proposal came up at the cabinet following discussions by some people. At the instruction of the Chief Minister, the proposal has certainly been put on hold.”

He also added that the government and the Chief Minister will think of taking a decision on the matter and whatever decision will be taken, it will be in the larger interest of the tribals.

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