Chhattisgarh is ready for the last assembly elections of the year, political parties have begun to woo the tribes which form a major part of the state’s population.
The ruling BJP, the main Opposition Congress and regional organizations are monitoring the tribal communities, which comprise around 32 percent of the population and can influence the result of a large number of seats in the 90-member assembly. As close to the election, leaders of both national parties have started touring the state’s tribal dominated Sarajuja and Bastar divisions, which came into being in November 2000. In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Bastar region, while Congress President Rahul Gandhi had addressed rallies in Serjuga and Bilaspur last month. Since 2003, the BJP, which is in power in Chhattisgarh, again believes in getting the support of tribals.
State Dharmam Kaushik, Dharmalal Kaushik, Bharatiya Janata Party’s State Dharmmala Kaushik said, “Tribals will play an important role in forming the next government. BJP will be able to empower the tribal communities in development and socio-economic development. Support will be available. ” The unit chairman told PTI. During recently organized rallies and campaigns, the people of tribal areas received a “huge” response to the saffron organization, indicating that tribal Raman Singh was happy with the government. In the meantime, Congress, which is struggling to return to the state after being out of power in 2003, also relies on the support of tribals. During nearly 15 years of BJP rule, nothing has been received by the poor, tribal and farmers, the party has claimed.
“The Congress (when in power) had enacted laws to ensure protection of tribal rights. The BJP had been violating these laws to provide benefits to its businessmen friends.Rights of tribals were being snatched,” state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said.”The Congress has always fought for the rights of tribals and as a result, it achieved success in tribal pockets during the previous polls. Tribals have understood the BJP government has done nothing and only cheated them” he said.If the Congress is voted to power after the upcoming elections, it will implement all the laws made for the welfare of tribals, Baghel assured.
In Chhattisgarh, after the division of Madhya Pradesh, the first assembly elections took place in 2003. BJP entered deep in the tribal dominated seats, once considered as Congress stronghold, and came to power for the first time. In the 2003 assembly elections, 10 seats were reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates and 34 for Scheduled Castes candidates.
The BJP then won 50 seats out of 90 seats and removed the Congress government led Ajit Jogi from power. The Kesar organization was successful in getting one out of 25 ST reserved seats. The Congress had won 37 seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had to face two more seats respectively. In 2008, the BJP retained power by winning 50 seats. Its main support came from the tribes because it won 19 out of 29 ST-reserved blocks.
Amit Jogi said, “Neither the BJP nor the tribals of the Congress are the candidates for the post of Chief Minister. Chief Minister Raman Singh (BJP) did not allow tribal leader to emerge in the state.” The legislator of Marwahi constituency of Bilaspur district said that both the national parasites consider tribals as the only vote bank. He said that only the Janata Congress, Chhattisgarh has declared the tribal chief minister (Ajit Jogi), he said that the Congress and the BJP should nominate the leaders of tribal communities for the top post.
Amit Jogi saidIf “the people are elected to the Congress Chhattisgarh government, then they will appoint Deputy Chief Minister for Sarajuja and Bastar divisions.”