July 7, 2021 4:46:03 am
At a meeting hosted by Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) MLAs — Chhotu Vasava and his son Mahesh Vasava — to organise a dialogue with MLAs, social workers and leading professionals to address various issues of the tribal community, a demand was raised to have a chief minister from the tribal community.
The Vasavas hosted the meeting at the Gandhinagar Circuit House under the banner of Gujarat Maha Adivasi Ekta Manch that was attended by community leaders, including former MP Prabha Taviyad and sitting Congress MLAs from Bhiloda and Vansada constituencies Anil Joshiyara and Anant Patel respectively.
Speaking with media persons later, Mahesh Vasava, MLA from Dediapada constituency, said, “Various communities such as Patidars and OBCs have demanded that the next chief minister should be from their communities. Tribals constitute 16% of the total population of the state. Why shouldn’t the next chief minister be from the tribal community? It is our demand that the next chief minister should be from the tribal community.”
“If with 1.5% (population of Jain community), Vijaybhai Rupani is our CM, then we (tribals) are 16%. We can also become (CM). Any tribal of Gujarat can become the CM,” Mahesh Vasava said.
About other issues, Mahesh said, “Due to non-implementation of Schedule V, a number of issues of tribals have cropped up — the issue of displacement of tribals for projects such as dams, (transport) corridor, Statue of Unity and its surrounding areas (was also discussed in the meeting). We do not have any problem with the statue of Sardar Patel. We could give the land on which the statue is built. But our opposition is against selling of land in the area to build hotels and other things. The grants for tribal community have been utilised inappropriately. Had it been used properly, today there would not have been a single uneducated tribal in the state.” The Dediapada MLA also said that the issue of Tribal Advisory Committee was discussed in the meeting with a demand that its chairman should compulsorily be a tribal.
“Today, we held a meeting and formed a committee that will meet regularly and campaign for the resolution of all these issues,” he added. Chhotu Vasava said, “Our major demand is the implementation of Schedule V in Gujarat… We must have a tribal as the next Chief Minister in Gujarat. If the main political parties have sympathy towards the tribal community, they should declare that the next CM will be from the tribal community.”
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