PM to unveil 5-yr roadmap for tribal development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to unveil a five-year roadmap of development for tribal communities on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh that goes to polls this year-end. PTI File Photo

At a time when it is confronting dalit backlash in the wake of the Supreme Court order on SC/ST Act, the Government plans to reach out to tribals with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to unveil a five-year roadmap of development for tribal communities on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh that goes to polls this year-end.

The occasion is National Panchayati Raj Day, when Modi will launch the Rashtriya Gramin Swaraj Abhiyan at a public meeting in tribal-dominated Mandla in the BJP-ruled state.

Sources in the government said that often it has been seen that whenever any dalit upsurge happens, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are together. The government is apparently keen to ensure that its efforts to address dalit unrest does not spillover to scheduled tribes among whom it believes it has made deep inroads.

Vanvasi Kalyan

There is also a view in the ruling party that its parent body RSS, through its arm Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra (VKK), has been active in tribal regions, which has made a strong impact and this could be deepened with fresh initiatives.

Tribals have been a strong support base of the ruling party and the Prime Minister has reached out to the community multiple times after the new government came to power. The massive tribal outreach is stated to be one of the reasons for widening footprint of the BJP in the North East.

Tribals constitute a substantial chunk of voters in Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan states ruled by the BJP.

The BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since 2003. It wrested Rajasthan from the Congress in 2013. Tribals are also in substantial number in Gujarat, where the BJP managed to form a government this time in a photo finish contest against Congress.

A government official said that the central government plans to open value addition centres in tribal households in remote villages, organise self-help groups and take up massive awareness programmes to improve their living standards.

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