Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched an attack on the Odisha government a day after the cabinet nod to a special package for the scheduled tribes and the decision to roll back the proposal to amend the Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (By Scheduled Tribes) Regulation. 

A new scheme titled Laghu Bana Jatiya Drabya Kraya (LABHA) to assure MSP for MFP (minimum support price for minor forest produce) was approved by the Cabinet on Monday.

Training his gun at the government, BJP leader and Opposition Chief Whip, Mohan Majhi alleged that with elections in sight, the state government has planned to woo voters by announcing the special package to keep tribals in good humours. 

“The BJD government had hatched a conspiracy to sell off tribal land to industrialists by amending the Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (By Scheduled Tribes) Regulation. Following stiff protests by tribal outfits and the BJP, the state government took a U-turn and put the decision on hold and now it has been completely withdrawn,” he observed.

The BJP legislator also asserted that the state government's conspiracy and its anti-tribal attitude cannot be concealed with special packages and withdrawal of its previous decision on tribal land handover rights.  

“Development of tribals has not happened during the BJD rule. In the last 24 years, what the state government has done for the tribals? Now it announced a package for them when the elections are around the corner,” Majhi asked.      

On the other hand, the Odisha ST, SC, OBC & Minorities Minister, Jagannath Saraka countered the BJP allegation saying that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has always taken steps for the development of tribals. 

Also Read: BJP sets sight on rural voters in Odisha, plans 'Gaon Chalo Abhiyan’ 

“BJP's allegations against the government are baseless. The Chief Minister has never made any scheme for votes. He has been thinking about the tribals. He believes that the development of tribals will ensure the development of the state,” the Minister added.