Dhar/Alirajpur: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleged here on Sunday that Congress has always used tribals as a mere "votebank" and is responsible for their backwardness.
"Since Independence, Congress has always treated tribals as a votebank and is totally responsible for their backwardness," he said during `Janashirwad Yatra` in the two tribal districts.
"The Congress cannot escape responsibility on the issue," Chouhan said.
Highlighting various steps taken by his government for the welfare of tribals in the state, he said before 2003, the budget allocated for development of tribal areas stood at Rs 250 crore, while during BJP rule it was raised to Rs 1,783 crore.
The state government arranged for not only basic education of tribal children, but also for their higher education in India, as well as abroad, he claimed.
In order to provide a permanent place to a large number of tribals in the state, the MP government has allotted forest land to 1.84 lakh tribals on lease, he said.
He highlighted steps taken by his government in the area of agriculture, especially zero per cent interest agriculture loans and raising the state`s irrigation potential which resulted in an agricultural growth rate of 18.91 per cent.
Claiming that Congress failed to do in the last 50 years, whatever BJP had done for the state in merely 10 years, he appealed to voters to vote for the BJP again in the name of development.