NEW DELHI, Jan 29, 2016, DHNS:
The Congress is planning to launch a national campaign against the Modi government for diluting forest laws. The party claims that dilution of laws has snatched away the rights of tribals across the country.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will spearhead the year-long campaign against the Centre’s attempts to “weaken” UPA’s flagship Forest Rights Act (FRA) that had empowered tribal hamlets by giving them rights to sell forest produce.
The FRA campaign will be on the lines of the nationwide protest launched against the amendments to the Land Acquisition Act, which were later shelved by the Modi government. Senior Congress spokesman Jairam Ramesh accused the Modi government of issuing guidelines to privatise degraded forests, diverting forest lands without consent of village councils for various projects and carrying out massive plantation in tribal lands.
“These moves have greatly affected the early gains made by the Forest Rights Act in empowering the tribals and even halted the process of implementation in many states,” said Ramesh, who played a key role in enacting the law during UPA-I.
Rahul will also commemorate 10 years of another UPA flagship initiative – the rural jobs scheme NREGA – by visitng a village in Anantpur district of Telangana where it was launched by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh.