Chhattisgarh land row: Boycott threat against tribal ministers

Raipur: An umbrella organization of tribal communities in Chhattisgarh has decided to boycott three tribal ministers and other tribal leaders in the ruling party for their silence on government decision to change the land law.

Several experts on tribal issues from other states are expected to assemble on January 13 and 14 at the state capital of Raipur to discuss the situation arising out of the amendment allows the central Indian state to buy land owned by the tribals with their consent.

Sarva Adivasi Samaj (all tribal society) leader B P S Netam has accused the tribal ministers and tribal legislators of neglecting the larger interests of their communities when the government passed an amendment to section 165 of the Land Revenue Code.

The amendment was passed in the Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) during the last winter session. It had sparked a controversy with tribal communities and land rights activists alleging the that the government amended the law without consulting the Tribal Advisory Council and other stake holders.

It raised suspicion that it was an attempt to usurp tribal land. Revenue Minister Prem Prakash Pandey sought to clarify that the decision was aimed at speeding up development initiatives and the land brought would be utilized only for projects of government and public undertakings.

Three ministers, who belong to tribal communities, agreed with the revenue minister but they offered a feeble defense of the decision to change the land law.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is currently ruling the state.

Source: The Times of India

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