Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the BJP wants to confine tribal people to forests and deprive them of education and other opportunities.
Addressing his first public meeting in Assam as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, Gandhi claimed the Congress recognises the rights of ‘adivasis’ over resources as first dwellers.
“We call you advisasi which means the first dwellers. The BJP calls you vanvasi, which means people who live in forests,” Gandhi said.
He alleged the BJP, which leads a coalition government in the state, wants to confine the tribals to the forests, and deprive their children of the opportunities to go to schools and universities, learn English and run businesses.
“We want what is yours should be returned to you. Your water, land, forest should be yours,” Gandhi said, addressing the gathering of predominantly tribal people in the island district of Majuli.
The Yatra, led by Gandhi, commenced from Manipur on January 14 and will culminate on March 20 or 21 in Mumbai.