Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the youth on the wrong path in Naxal-affected Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district to abandon the path of violence and return to the mainstream.
Appealing to the parents of such youth on this issue, Modi said, "Who is their (Naxals') leader? They come from outside and remain hidden instead of coming in front of you. They have your children killed. Will you send your children to them to die just like that?"
Addressing a rally in Bijapur's Jangla village, the prime minister appealed to the youth, especially those from the tribal community, to contribute to development in the region. Given the success of the rally in the Naxalite stronghold, Prime Minister Modi asked people to get on the path of development.
It will be too early to comment on how effective Modi's appeal was. But this provided a glimpse of the preparations for development of Naxal-affected remote villages made by the government.
During his Bijapur visit, the prime minister inaugurated various schemes for the whole of Bastar but the most discussed of such schemes was the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Modi choosing Chhattisgarh's Bijapur for starting this scheme was the centre of discussion.
In fact, the government has selected 115 such backward districts across the country, which are still deprived of development. Bijapur is also one of the districts. The government has now put more emphasis on developing these districts.
Bijapur is a tribal-dominated district and the influence of the Maoists is also very high, so the government is trying to give a better message by giving priority to this place. However, the prime minister said that due to the positive attitude shown to the development of Bijapur in the last three months, the Ayushman scheme is being started from here.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's first Health Care and Wellness Centre along with Ayushman Yojana from Bijapur. On this occasion, Modi reiterated the government's commitment to the development of the poor, Dalits and tribals.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for many development schemes in the area. Bastar also got a new gift in the form of a railway line. A new railway line and a train between Gudum and Bhanupratappur were also inaugurated.
The people of the tribal community who were in the rally were also very excited. Talking to Firstpost, Phaguni Baghel, who came from Bardela (situated near Jangla village), said, "Now, up to Rs 5 lakh will be available to us for treatment of any disease, which will be of great benefit." Phaguni is hopeful that the government will bring about development in the region.
Anbar Dubba, from Bhairamgarh, studies in the 7th standard. Dubba, from a tribal family, is studying in Eklavya school in the village, which is being run by the RSS. Apart from Anbar Dubba, many other school students were present in Modi's rally.
The prime minister, by inaugurating various schemes, did not disappoint people.
Modi also sent a positive message to the people at the rally by presenting, with his own hand, slippers to a tribal woman who picks tendupatta. In fact, the government is running a scheme called Charanpaduka, which is being run for the tribal women who pick tendupatta.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh also mentioned the steps taken by the central and state governments on the development of Bastar region. Referring to the Ujjwala scheme, Raman Singh said that this will benefit SC/ST women the most.
Actually, the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh are to be held later this year. Then, the Lok Sabha elections will be held next year. Earlier, the government's attempt was to give a new edge to all the development works so far. The government aims to create New Bastar on the lines of New India.
With this exercise, Modi is trying to bring together SC and ST. They are trying to strengthen their vote bank and also trying to bring Naxals into the mainstream through development. If Modi's intention to convert the Naxal stronghold into an economic hub lands well, it may be difficult for Naxals to keep a strong presence in this area.
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Updated Date: Apr 15, 2018 12:41:58 IST