Congress did nothing for tribals: Modi

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Jaipur, November 24: The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress of not even acknowledging the existence of the tribal population in the country in the past 60 years.

The Gujarat Chief Minister was addressing a gathering of people from a tribal belt in Rajasthan’s Banswara district, some 500 km from state capital Jaipur.

Rajasthan will go to the polls December 1 to elect new members to with its 200-seat assembly.

“The tribal population exists in this country since the time of Ramchandraji. It existed during the Independence struggle. Everyone but the Congress is aware of the existence of the tribes for centuries,” Mr. Modi said.

Mr. Modi said that it was former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who brought a tribal ministry into being, and also allocated a separate budget for tribals.

“Congress doesn’t consider tribal people as humans. For them, it is just a vote bank,” Mr. Modi said.

“They keep screaming about irrelevant things, but they don’t talk about inflation. Congress had promised to contain inflation in 100 days, but nothing happened,” he said.

“Did Sonia, Manmohan or Rahul speak or mention anything about rising prices in their speeches?” he asked.

Mr. Modi also referred to union Law Minister Kapil Sibal’s statement, claiming that the prices of vegetables have risen because the poor are able to purchase them, and demand for these has gone up.

“A senior minister of the Congress party said a couple of days ago that the poor used to eat chapatis without vegetables but they are now affording to eat two dishes of vegetables. He termed it the reason for rising inflation,” said Mr. Modi.

Mr. Modi referred again to Mr. Rahul Gandhi as Shahzada, and said that the All India Congress Committee vice president usually spoke of the poor, but there are slum areas near his own house in Delhi.

“These slum areas fall in the constituency of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. The conditions are so pathetic at these places that there are only two toilets for 200 people,” Mr. Modi said.

Mr. Modi will address three more election rallies in Rajasthan on Sunday.

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