B R Hills (Karnataka), Mar 26: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has commended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for listening to the voice of tribals. Kicking off his second "Discover India tour in Karnataka's Chamarajanagar District, Ganghi said: "When one spends one rupee for the poor, everybody asks why we are spending it and if the same one rupee goes to the non-poor, there is no criticism."
"The issue is not about being pro-poor or pro-rich, the issue is about being fair and I commend the Prime Minister and the Congress president for listening to the voice of the poor," he said. He said, society was ignoring the traditional wisdom of the tribal communities on environmental and conservation issues at tremendous cost, and it was imperative that the acquired knowledge of thousands of years be tapped for sustainable living as practised by tribal and forest dwelling communities.
Gandhi interacted with Dalits and representatives of other backward class communities, besides participating in a public meeting that Adivasis attended. He drew attention to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the loan waiver for farmers as testimony of the Congress party commitment to the weaker sections of the society.
He emphasised that his party had implemented the provisions of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act and advocated education as a means to reduce the differences among various strata of society. He talked about those who belittled the Rs. 60,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme.