Union minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said Naxals were the “biggest enemies” of tribals as well as the poor and accused the rebels of misleading them. He was addressing a public rally in Dantewada to flag off Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s “Vikas Yatra”, which aims to highlight the achievements of the BJP’s 15-year rule in the state. The Union home minister said despite the hurdles put up by the Maoist rebels, the Centre and the state government were committed to boosting development in the region. He praised the Chhattisgarh chief minister, saying the state had witnessed tremendous growth under his leadership.
Singh said he had never seen a chief minister with so much concern for all sections of the society, including the masons, carpenters, tendu leaf collectors, women and students. “But forces like Naxals do not want development to take place. They are misleading the tribals and poor people,” he said. Singh expressed his gratitude to the tribal communities that had shown the courage to reject the Naxal ideology and refused to quit the mainstream.
Alleging that Naxal leaders were wallowing in luxury, he said they were, however, preventing the progress meant for the tribals and the poor. “Naxal leaders have become crorepatis. They send their children to study in prominent colleges and universities. Some of their children even study abroad. But they want the children of our tribal brothers to remain uneducated,” Singh said.
Stating that the state and the country would not progress without the development of the tribals and the poor, the home minister said, “We have decided that despite all odds, we will go to the (Naxal-affected) area and build roads, set up mobile towers, provide potable water, electricity, medical facilities and education. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states believe that no one can imagine the development of a state or the country unless the poor, the backward and tribals prosper.” He said the people of Chhattisgarh were aware of the progress the state had made in 15 years of BJP rule and that no force could mislead them.
Singh said people from all over the country and abroad visited Chhattisgarh to see the efficient functioning of its Public Distribution System, under which the poor were provided rice for Re 1 per kg. Praising the Centre’s steps to bring about a financial inclusion of those left out, he said the prime minister believed that not just the rich, but even the poorest must have bank accounts. Singh also claimed that no prime minister had ever done what Modi had managed to do in four years. He said the government was providing a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to the poor families, while the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was facilitating houses for the poor. Singh urged the people of Chhattisgarh, where Assembly polls are due later in the year, to elect the BJP to power for the fourth consecutive time.
Speaking on the occasion, Raman Singh said development works to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore would be launched during the “Vikas Yatra”, including distribution of smartphones among 50 lakh families as part of the state’s “Sanchar Kranti Yojana”. He asserted that development of the Bastar region, of which Dantewada district is a part, was always an important priority for his government.
The prime minister launching the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission, the world’s largest such insurance initiative, from Bastar’s Bijapur district only highlighted it, the chief minister said. The first phase of the “Vikas Yatra” will cover 62 Assembly constituencies and culminate on June 11, while the second phase is scheduled to be held from August 16 to September 30. Earlier, the Union minister and the chief minister prayed at the famous Mata Danteshwari temple in Dantewada.