Bhopal: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha candidate from Madhya Pradesh, Sumer Singh Solanki, has referred to the Narmada Bachao Andolan and social and political groups of tribals in the state as anti-national and anarchists in his bio data.
Solanki claimed to have succeeded in warding off their presence in the region as his achievement in the bio data, released by the state BJP on March 12, 2020. The issue has irked the tribal community and various tribals groups burnt his effigy in his home district Barwani on Monday. They also demanded the cancellation of his nomination from the Governor.
In his six-page long bio data, Solanki claimed, “Social and political organisations such as ‘Jai Aadivasi Yuva Sangathan (JAYS), Aadivasi Mukti Sangathan, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Aadivasi Dalit Sangathan, Aadivasi Chantra Sangathan and Aadivasi Bhim Sena’ of the Malwa region are anarchists and engage in anti-national activities. And I very much succeeded in warding off their presence in the region since last eight years. Many members of those organisations are now working with me,” he wrote in the achievement section of the bio data.
Sumer Singh Solanki, who belongs to a scheduled tribe, filed his nomination papers on March 13, 2020 along with Ranjana Baghel and newly joined Jyotiraditya Scindia to represent the tribals’ voice in the Upper House of Parliament.
The election for three RS seats in Madhya Pradesh is due on March 26, 2020. In opposition to the BJP, the Congress has pitted veteran leader Digvijay Singh, Phul Singh Baraiya and Ramdas.
Solanki, a history professor at Shaheed Bhima Nayak Government Post Graduate University, Barwani is closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has not shied away from revealing his association with the Right-wing outfit. In the six-page long bio data, he has mentioned RSS more than two dozen times.
Talking about his candidature, he told NewsClick over phone, “My nomination for RS is entirely based on my grassroots work in the tribal-dominated districts of the state like Barwani and Khargone.”
Also read: MP: RSS Asks Cadres to Persuade Tribals to Declare Themselves Hindu
On being asked the reason behind his claim that certain tribal socio-political groups are indulging in anti-national activities in his bio-data, he disconnected the call citing work.
NewsClick talked to the members of various groups which have been listed as anti-national and anarchists in Solanki’s biodata. It has learnt that one of the groups, ‘Aadivasi Bhim Sena’ doesn’t exist.
JAYS Convenor Heeralal Alwa, who is also the Congress MLA from Manawar Assembly seat, said that they are a political and social organisation working for the upliftment of the tribals in the region. Besides, other mentioned organisations, except Aadivasi Bhim Sena, are groups which work for educating tribals, implementation of government polices and work as watchdog of tribal rights.
Criticising Solanki’s bio data, district head of JAYS, Sandeep Nargawe, said, “I challenge Solanki to prove his claim that our work is against the nation. Is creating awareness among the tribals about our heritage and political rights anti-national work?”
He added that the BJP and the RSS consider tribals as Hindus and promotes those who speak their tongue and his (Solanki’s) bio data is proof that he works for RSS and for saffronisation of tribals.
JAYS members are active in tribal-dominated districts like Dhar, Barwani, Khargone, Jhabua and Alirajpur.
Another group, Jagrit Aadivasi Dalit Sangathan, which works as a watchdog of tribal rights in the region has also opposed Solanki’s claim. Convenor Madhuri said, “Now, it is clear that RSS and BJP has been trying to quell the social and political groups of the tribals and Solanki is openly accepting it. He is a RSS cadre.”
She further said that if his claims that these social groups are engage in anti-national activities is true, then he must present proofs supporting his claims to the police or before the court. “I think he doesn’t even know these social organisations because he doesn’t even know their names clearly,” she added.
“Out of five organisations which he has mentioned in the biodata, ‘Aadivasi Bhim Sena’ doesn’t exist. He is completely lying. He is far away from the reality. He has done it just to get better marks from the Sangh. And now, BJP is planning to send a person (to Rajya Sabha) who has anti-tribal mentality,” she alleged.
Member of the Adivasi Chhatra Sangathan, Prakash Bansod, said, “We have burnt the effigy of Solanki for maligning the image of social groups and dashed off a memorandum to Governor.”
Despite several attempts, BJP spokespersons could not be contacted.
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