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BJP Concerned Over Diminishing Tribal Vote Bank in Madhya Pradesh

In view of traditional tribal support for the Congress, the BJP is now aiming tribal vote bank ahead of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:June 13, 2018, 1:37 PM IST
BJP Concerned Over Diminishing Tribal Vote Bank in Madhya Pradesh
File photo of BJP National President Amit Shah (via Getty Images)

Bhopal: Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has chosen the tribal heartland of Jabalpur in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh for his party Election Management Committee meeting.

This move has dropped enough hints that the party is focusing excessively on tribal vote bank. Prime Minister had, earlier in April, praised the contribution of ethic population in country’s population while speaking at a public meet in tribal dominated Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh.

During the party meeting, Amit Shah exhibited his concerns over declining tribal vote bank in Madhya Pradesh, a BJP leader wishing anonymity said. The leader claimed that the party chief also apprised them of the issues which could be raked up regionally in the run up to the Assembly polls.

Shah offered clear hints that he and his exclusive team are likely to start camping in Madhya Pradesh from July and would tour each and every division of the state, including the far-off regions.

In last four months, Shah has visited Bhopal twice and once to Ujjain and Jabalpur, respectively. During his May 4 address at Bhopal, Shah told the workers that this time the party organisation would be at the forefront and not any person.

However, it was clear that BJP top leadership was eyeing to focus on tribal vote bank to stamp victory in this central Indian state.

There are 38 Assembly constituencies in the region: the highest numbers of them are eight, in Jabalpur district and the lowest of the lot are two, in Dindori. As many as 13 of these constituencies are reserved for tribals and two for Schedule Castes. All three seats in Mandla and the two in Dindori districts are Scheduled Tribe seats. In Chinndwara district, three of the seven seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.

With the tribal masses traditionally siding with the Congress, BJP has concerns ahead of Assembly polls.

With BJP pitching in Rakesh Singh, relatively junior in stature, and Congress opting for veteran Kamal Nath as the respective party state heads, it has given rise to much speculation in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the polls.

Besides, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been introducing special measures for tribal population, including elaborate incentive distribution functions for tendu leave collectors, compiling record of labourers from unorganised sectors and distributing water bottles, footwear and saris.

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