The Congress claimed on Wednesday that the BJP has publicly admitted to using its washing machine to import leaders in Maharashtra, and cited the example of Ravindra Waikar, Yamini Jadhav and Narayan Rane, who faced anti-graft probes and joined the ruling alliance in the state.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said this as he posed a few questions for Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of his rallies in Maharashtra. “Why has the BJP diluted Adivasis’ forest rights in Maharashtra? Will the BJP’s washing machine ever stop spinning? Why has there been a three-fold increase in the death of construction workers in Maharashtra,” Ramesh asked in a post on ‘X’.

Elaborating on what he said were “jumla details”, Ramesh said that in 2006, the decades-long struggle of India’s tribal communities came to an end when the Congress government introduced the historic Forest Rights Act. “This granted Adivasi and forest-dwelling communities legal rights to manage their own forests, and economically benefit from forest produce they collect. Last year, when PM Modi introduced the Forest Conservation Amendment Act, all of this progress was undone,” he alleged.

“The new Act undermines the Forest Rights Act of 2006, doing away with provisions for the consent of local communities and other statutory requirements for forest clearance in vast areas. The intention, of course, is to hand over access to our forests to the prime minister’s corporate friends,” Ramesh said. Data also shows how the Mahayuti government has obstructed the implementation of the FRA, depriving millions of Adivasis of its benefits, he added.

“Why have the BJP and their allies deprived Adivasis of their forest rights in Maharashtra,” Ramesh asked. He also claimed that the BJP has now publicly admitted to using its washing machine to import leaders in Maharashtra.

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