BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Saturday virtually began the partys campaign for the 2014 general elections by holding a convention of the partys tribal MPs,legislators,ministers and other leaders in his hometown and setting a target of 47 Lok Sabha seats for the party in tribal pockets.
Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day national executive of the partys tribal wing,Adivasi Janjati Morcha,Gadkari said if the BJP came to power,it would set up a medical college,an engineering college,three polytechnics and 10 ITIs in each of the tribal- dominated districts of the country. Attributing the rampage of Naxalism to UPA governments for failure to fulfill the tribal needs of education and employment in tribal belts of the country,Gadkari said,The dropout rate among tribal schoolchildren was as high as 80 per cent.
He added the BJP was committed to take tribals out of poverty if it was elected to power in 2014.
He directed the party leaders and workers to reach out to the tribals and address the basic needs of the people such as roads and rural infrastructure. If all the 6.70 lakh villages in the country are connected with all-season roads,it will add Rs 1.60 lakh crore to the nations GDP, Gadkari said.
Gadkari was instrumental in drawing up the Vajpayee governments flagship Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojaya.
Over 300 delegates are participating in the conclave. By holding the meet in Maharashtra,that too in his hometown instead of tribal-dominated Jharkhand,Chhattisgarh,Bihar or Madhya Pradesh where the BJP has power or is a partner in power,Gadkaris bid is to wean the tribal voters in the state away from the Congress.