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BJP, Congress fight for crucial tribal votes in MP

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) The BJP and the Congress are set to woo the tribal community in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the upcoming panchayat, urban body and 2023 Assembly elections.

Madhya Pradesh has a sizeable (around 21 per cent) tribal population. Therefore, the twp parties are eyeing the tribal vote bank to win the elections.

Of the 84 Assembly constituencies where tribals are in abundance, the BJP won 34 of them in the 2018 Assembly elections, while in 2013, it won 59 constituencies. In this way, the party lost 25 seats in 2018.

In 2013, out of total 47 Assembly constituencies in the state, reserved for the tribals, the BJP won 31 seats, while the Congress won 15 seats. Whereas in the 2018 elections, the BJP won only 16 seats and the Congress won 30 seats.

Therefore, the BJP is now trying to plug the gap which cost it the first rank in the 2018 polls by bringing back into its fold the tribals from the state.

On November 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech in Madhya Pradesh, as the BJP celebrated Tribal Pride Day on the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, a tribal leader.

A grand closing ceremony is also scheduled to be held in Mandla on November 22 to mark the end of Tribal Pride Week. Similarly, on the sacrifice day of Tantya Bhil on December 4, a programme will be held in Patalpani of Indore.

Meanwhile, the Congress which is also trying to maintain its support, has organised a meeting of tribal legislators and leaders in Bhopal on November 24.

The increasing efforts and intensied campaigns by both the parties to secure their tribal vote bank proves that the community has the power to swing the elections in the state.