National

Such Decisions Are Taken By Party's Legislative Wing: Munda On Whether BJP To Pick Tribal Person As MP CM Post-Polls

The Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said this in a press conference in Bhopal in response to a question whether Madhya Pradesh will get its first tribal chief minister if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to be at the helm in the state.

Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda. (File photo)
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Union minister Arjun Munda on Wednesday said a decision on whether a tribal person would be chosen as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh if the BJP retains power in the state after the assembly polls would be taken by the party's state legislative wing. 

The Tribal Affairs Minister said this in a press conference in Bhopal in response to a question whether Madhya Pradesh will get its first tribal chief minister if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to be at the helm in the state.

Elections to the 230-member legislative assembly will be held in a single phase on November 17. 

"After the polls, the elected members of the legislative assembly elect their leader. The respective legislative party of each state takes a decision as to who should be the chief minister. BJP never decides such issues on the basis of caste, but ensures that all such issues are discussed at the meeting," Munda said responding to the query. 

A total of 47 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates, while 35 others are earmarked for the Scheduled Caste (SC) community in Madhya Pradesh. 

Highlighting the steps taken by the BJP-led governments at the national level for the welfare of tribal community, Munda said a separate ministry for tribals was formed for the first time when the party was in power at the Centre under prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee's leadership. 

Munda said the government led by his party also implemented the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) (PESA) Act, declared November 15 as Adivasi Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas in honour of tribal icon Bhagwan Birsa Munda, set up 63 Eklavya Schools and 1,083 ashram schools in Madhya Pradesh to provide education to children from the community.

Terming the Congress's poll manifesto, in which it gave promises for the welfare of the tribal community, as a "bundle of lies", Munda claimed the grand old party promises to implement such things which the BJP government has already put in place, including the PESA Act.

"The Congress ruled for a long time and it adopted all kinds of tactics to remain in power, but it failed to do anything to change their (tribals') lives," he alleged. 

"Under its rule, far-off tribal areas continued to remain backward and a maximum number of tribal persons migrated out of their native place or got displaced due to lack of development," he added.

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