Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday dismissed suggestions that Gujarat would go to polls earlier than its 2022 schedule to coincide with the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh to be held in March next year. Rupani, who was at the World Adivasi Day celebrations in Rajpipla in Narmada district on the last day of the nine-day events to mark the five years of the BJP-run state government, said that “unlike the Congress” the BJP does not come up with “poll-related agenda making” as it is always among the people.
Speaking at the venue in Jitnagar in Rajpipla on Monday, Rupani laid the foundation stone of the Birsa Munda University that will come up in the tribal district at a cost of Rs 341 crore.
On the sidelines of the event, Rupani addressed questions from reporters and dismissed the possibility of early Assembly polls in Gujarat in March next year. “I do not think there is any connection with the UP Assembly polls in Gujarat. I do not believe that the Gujarat Assembly polls will be held earlier than its schedule next year. The BJP is a party that is constantly working for the people, going in the midst of the people so we do not need to make election strategies and agendas like the Congress party, which only meets people ahead of the elections with tall promises,” Rupani said.
At the event, where Bharuch MP Mansukh Vasava and Gujarat Cabinet Minister Ganpatsinh Vasava also spoke about the contribution of the state government to tribal development, Rupani evoked the contributions made by the tribal community in the freedom struggle.
Hailing the strength with which the tribal kingdom of the Dangs did not cower down to the pressure from the British, Rupani also invoked the ‘sacrifice of the Bhil community’ in the seige of the Mangadh hill in Panchmahals district by the British in 1913, referring to it as an event “bigger than the Jallianwalah Baug Massacre”.
Rupani laid foundations for 289 development projects worth Rs 1,700 crore in 53 tribal talukas. Rupani said, “Under the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while being CM in Gujarat, had started development works worth Rs 90000 crore for the overall development of the tribal community in Gujarat. In the last five years, development works worth Rs 60000 crore has been done in the tribal areas of the state.”
He added that in the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana Phase-II, the state government plans to undertake development works worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the tribal areas of the state in the next five years.
Rupani also inaugurated Rs 480 crore-worth 199 projects and laid the foundation stone of 90 projects worth Rs. 1,222 crore for the tribal areas. The Chief Minister also distributed Rs 85 crore worth benefits to over 23,000 tribal beneficiaries under Dhiran Yojana, Manav Garima Yojana, Van Dhan Vikas Yojana, Krishi Kit Vitran Yojana, Forest Rights Act, and Medical Assistance Scheme for Sickle Cell and Tuberculosis patients and also distributed benefits of Rs 80 crore under pre-matric scholarship scheme to an estimated five lakh students of the developing tribe.
Rupani also said that under the state government had cleared 14,000 claims filed by tribals under the Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and sanctioned and rights of 46000 hectares of land to the applicants.