Raipur, Oct 10: In elections in Chhattisgarh, tribal votes always entice the parties since they play a crucial role in differentiating the winner from the rest. Both the major parties - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress - compete to get the bigger blessing of the tribal electorate in a state which is home to about 72 lakh tribal people. Moreover, 29 of 90 seats in the Jharkhand Assembly are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) which make the competition even fierce.
According to a report in Jagran, four more parties besides the two national ones are eyeing the tribal votes and that makes the equation tougher for both the national parties.
The Congress has had a support base in the Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste constituencies but the BJP has succeeded in making dent into it. The Congress has influence over 18 ST seats and the BJP over the remaining 18. The number of seats reserved for the STs in Chhattisgarh is more than those reserved for the SCs and thus the competition is more in them.
The BJP has seen its top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, campaigning in the tribal areas. Party president Amit Shah; Joint General Secretary (Organisation) Saudan Singh and also the state's chief minister, Raman Singh, has campaigned extensively in the tribal areas. Singh flagged off the Lok Suraj Yatra and Vikas Yatra events from the tribal areas.
The Congress also has organised its own plan to attract as much tribal votes as possible. Besides holding a rally in Sitapur in Sarguja, it has also held a tribal meet in Kota while its tribal arm has organised a jungle satyagrah.
The four other parties that are also eyeing the tribal votes in the two-phase Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh this year are: Gondwana Ganatantra Party, Janata Congress, Tribal Party and the Aam Aadmi Party.
The Assembly elections will take place in Chhattisgarh on November 12 and 20 and the results will be declared on December 11.