Bengaluru: The BJP government’s priority is “only development”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Karnataka on Thursday, accusing the previous governments in the state of neglecting the backward and tribal communities and using them “only for vote bank politics”.
The PM was speaking at a gathering in Malkhed in north Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district where he launched the ‘Hakku Patra’ (land title deed) distribution drive for members of the nomadic Lambani (Banjara) tribes.
“It’s a big day for the people of the Banjara community as over 50,000 people will get their own roof,” Modi said. “(Political) parties only concentrated on vote banks. They did not think of providing a life for these groups.”
The PM’s outreach to the nomadic community comes as the BJP has begun preparations for the coming Assembly election. Thursday’s visit was the PM’s second in as many weeks to Karnataka.
Attacking the previous governments, Modi said that even 75 years after Independence a large population had not got the “fruits of development” and that the next 25 years “are going to be the Amrit Kaal for every citizen and state, during which we have to build a developed India.”
In an apparent reference to the Congress, he said those who had ruled the country for long “used” the communities such as the Lambani for votes and did not take “any strong decisions in their favour”. The current BJP dispensation both at the Centre and in the state has changed “this environment of laziness”, he said.
“…dalits, adivasis, women and specially abled people were among those who lost out due to past governments. For the first time, these groups are getting their rights,” the PM said.
Speaking about Hakku Patra, Modi said recognition of ‘thaandas’ or tribal settlements as revenue villages will help in providing basic facilities to its residents “who can now live without any worry”.
Listing out the various schemes and measures of the government, the Prime Minister said that while only a handful of forest produce was given Minimum Support Price (MSP) under other governments, BJP had extended the MSP to 90 products.
“We are working with a clear strategy for empowerment,” he said further as he sought to reinforce how the previous governments had left the Banjara and other communities “to fend for themselves”.
Later, PM Modi reached Mumbai and laid the foundation of projects worth nearly Rs 38,800 crore in the city. He also inaugurated the two lines of Mumbai Metro 2A and 7 from Gundavali Metro station in Andheri and also undertook a metro ride from the station.
PM Modi in Mumbai said that while the world is reeling under economic crisis, India is providing subsidies. “Double Engine government is committed to giving better amenities to the poorest of the poor.
He was speaking from the MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex, where he inaugurated two new Mumbai Metro lines and various projects, including road concretization, sewage treatment plants and PM Svanidhi scheme, among others.