Rahul Gandhi addresses tribals, promises implementation of tribal bill

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Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Sept 26:  Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the Congress will ensure the implementation of the tribal bill when it comes to power in the state to prevent illegal acquisition of tribal land.

"When land is taken from the rich it is bought, but when it comes to the poor and adivasis (tribals) their land is grabbed. Our fight is for the poor," said Gandhi dressed in a white kurta pyjama and sporting a stubble.

"When the Congress party comes to power, we will ensure that the tribal bill is implemented so that your land is not snatched away from you," he said.

Gandhi was addressing the tribals of Bastar district in the first rally after the May 25 Maoist ambush and killings of senior Congress leaders including Vidya Charan Shukla, Nandkumar Patel and tribal leader Mahendra Karma who founded the Salwa Judum to combat Maoists.

The rally was attended by around 10,000 people, most of whom were tribals.

Rahul promises land won't be grabbed from the tribals

Dominated by tribals, the Bastar region is crucial for the Congress as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 11 of the 12 assembly seats from there in the 2008 elections.

The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is a key piece of forest legislation passed Dec 18, 2006. Also called the tribal bill, it concerns the rights of forest dwelling communities to land and other resources denied to them for decades due to colonial forest laws.

In Jagdalpur

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi waves to the crowd at 'Adivasi Adhikar Mahasammelan' at Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

In Jagdalpur

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at 'Adivasi Adhikar Mahasammelan' at Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

In Jagdalpur

Tribes women at the congress 'Adivasi Adhikar Mahasammelan' at Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

In Baran

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi addresses a public rally in Baran (Kota) on Tuesday.

In Baran

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi being welcomed by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot during a public rally in Baran (Kota) on Tuesday.

In Jagdalpur

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi waves during the party's 'Adivasi Adhikar Mahasammelan' at Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

In Jagdalpur

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi waves to the crowd at the party's 'Adivasi Adhikar Mahasammelan' at Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

IANS

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