Congress, BJP make efforts to woo tribals

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Godhra, Dec 14 (UNI) With the second phase of polling to Gujarat assembly drawing near, the BJP and the Congress have launched all out efforts to woo tribal voters.

''The tribals are not difficult to influence,'' says a local leader. ''They are happy if they get some money and a bottle of country liqour.'' Almost 15 per cent of Gujarat's population was tribal and could play a significant role in the elections, particularly in assembly constituencies near the Madhya Pradesh border.

According to sources, over 35 per cent tribals had migrated to cities like Vadodara and Ahmedabad, and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh to earn their livelihood.

The tribal belt in the state had been a Congress bastion since Independence till 2002 owing to a strong presence of Gandhian workers. However, post-Godhra, the loyalty of tribals, especially in Central Gujarat, had shifted towards the BJP.

The Congress was trying to make a strong bid to wrest back the tribal seats from the ruling BJP.


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