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government, he called on the Chief Minister to take steps to cancel the MoU which violated the provisions of law of the land.

Wherever mining has been allowed tribals have only lost and only a few outsiders have gained. In fact mining has only helped strengthen the Maoists, Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh declared. Urging the Chief Minister to have the State Government impose a 20-year moratorium on mining in Scheduled Areas he called upon the government to take steps to empower tribals.

He asked the Government to concentrate on improving the health, sanitation and education of the tribals and resolve the land disputes in the Agency areas.

He urged the government to promote horticulture, housing and improve connectivity.

Welfare schemes

In response, the Chief Minister evaded giving a clear statement on banning bauxite mining in the Agency and only asserted that the government would not do anything that violated the Constitution. Earlier he participated in launching a number of welfare schemes for the tribals in the region. Minister of Tribal Welfare P Balaraju, Minister for Panchayati Raj Jana Reddy, Minister for Forests Shatrucharla Vijayarama Raju, Minister for Roads and Buildings Dharmana Prasada Rao and Minister for Infrastructure, Investments and Ports Ganta Srinivasa Rao, MLAs a number of party leaders and officials were also present.