Tribal land row: Adivasi Samaj to boycott tribal BJP ministers in Chhattisgarh

RAIPUR: Sarva Adivasi Samaj, an umbrella organisation of tribal communities in Chhattisgarh, has decided to boycott three tribal ministers in the Raman Singh government and other ruling party’s tribal leaders for remaining silent on government decision to change the land law so that state can buy land owned by the tribals with their consent.
Sarva Adivasi Samaj leader BPS Netam, a former IAS officer, has been quoted as saying that BJP’s tribal ministers and tribal legislators did not care for the larger interests of tribal communities when the BJP government passed an amendment to section 165 of the Land Revenue Code.
The amendment, which was passed in the Vidhan Sabha during the last winter session, had sparked a controversy with tribal communities and land rights activists alleging the way in which the amendment was brought without consulting the Tribal Advisory Council and other stake holders raising suspicion that it’s 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 defence of the decision to change the land law.
Meanwhile, a large number of experts on tribal issues from other states are expected to assemble here on January 13 and 14 to discuss the situation arising out of the government decision to amend the land revenue code.