Andhra Pradesh

Centre waging ‘undeclared war’ against Adivasis: Brinda Karat

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat interacting with people displaced by the Polavaram project during a rally in Chintoor Agency in East Godavari district on Friday. For Kakinada. By Arrangement.
Staff Reporter REKHAPALLI (EAST GODAVARI) 17 September 2021 22:22 IST
Updated: 18 September 2021 08:15 IST

Gram sabhas were not consulted for Polavaram resettlement plan, she alleges

CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat on Friday said the Narendra Modi-led Central government had waged an undeclared war against Adivasis, treating them as “second class citizens” by depriving them of their right to live in the forest dwellings.

Ms. Karat accompanied by CPI State secretary P. Madhu on Friday took out a rally from Chintoor to Rekhapalli, the 30-km stretch of the submerged area of the Polavaram irrigation project in East Godavari district.

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In Chintoor town, Ms. Karat said that depriving the right to get access to all the entitlements of the Resettlement and Rehabilitation package of the Polavaram irrigation project was a criminal act of the Centre, as the project was accorded the national status.

The tribal people and gram sabhas had not been consulted on the resettlement issues from the beginning of the project, she alleged. This was a sign that the Centre was treating the tribal people as “second class citizens”, she said.

The rally passed along the Sabari river belt, covering Mallethota and Sunnamvarigudem villages, where Ms. Karat inspected the tribal habitations and fertile land that would be submerged.

At the public meeting at Rekhapalli, Ms. Karat said the gram sabhas of the tribal panchayats were not given voice to share their problems in designing the resettlement plan. A whopping 376 habitations were being affected in the Chintoor Agency alone. The fight for the rights of the affected people would be the fight of all the Adivasis of the country, she said.

On the State government's role in R&R, Ms. Karat questioned the silence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. She said that above 70% of the people affected by the Polavaram project were Adivasis. The Koya tribals participated in the rally by performing their traditional Kommu Koya dance.

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