Guwahati, Sept. 20: The All Assam Tribal Sangha today alleged that the grants-in-aid released by the Centre for development of tribal areas were misappropriated in the state.
The Sangha also demanded that the Centre remove Member of Parliament (MP) Ranee Narah from the post of minister of state for tribal affairs and, instead, appoint a person who by birth belongs to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) to ensure proper allocation of funds for development of areas inhabited by indigenous communities in the state.
The Sangha expressed concern over discriminate allocation of grants for Integrated Tribal Development Projects (ITDP) and Sub-divisional Scheduled Tribe Welfare Boards (SDWB) by Narah.
“Of the Rs 45.87 crore earmarked for development of the tribal areas in Assam, MP Ranee Narah allocated Rs 20.72 crore for 12 development schemes for North Lakhimpur ITDP, Rs 13.95 crore against three schemes for Jorhat ITDP and Rs 1 crore or less in ITDPs. However, not a single paisa has been allocated for any development scheme under ITDPs in Guwahati, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Gossaigaon, Dhubri, Udalguri, Tezpur, Golapgat, Morigaon and Silchar. This way, no development will take place in these areas,” Ranjit Kumar Borgoyary, the president of the Sangha, said.
Of the 52 SDWBs in the state, only Rs 45 lakh has been allocated against one development scheme in Jonai SDWB. The remaining have been left out.
“Narah must have some vested interest to allocate funds meant for development of the tribal-dominated areas in such a discriminate manner. The grants-in-aid are released by the Centre based on the population of the tribal communities in different states. Since she hails from the state we had hoped that she would work for the welfare of the tribal areas, but she has let us down. We want the Centre to remove her and, instead, appoint a person who is by birth an ST to the post. The MP is not an ST by birth,” Borgoyary said.