TRIBAL POWER: The Congress and BJP are a worried lot as these votes may sway in any direction
New Delhi: Accounting for one fourth of voters, tribals play a key role in deciding who wins Madhya Pradesh. With three tribal parties in the fray, BJP and Congress are worried that the Gondwana factor will play a role in deciding their fortunes.
The Congress and the BJP are not tuned in to the sounds of tribal awakening in Madhya Pradesh.
In the 2003 state elections though only three seats were won by the Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP), it had hugely cut into the Congress and BJP votes.
The GGP professes to be representatives of tribal interests and hampered the especially the Congress which has always banked on the tribals.
This time the GGP has put up over 150 candidates across the state.
Jhamak Lal Shareaam, a candidate of GGP feels his party stands a good chance in the ongoing assembly elections. Shareaam feels that entering the election battleground increases their party's might.
There are two more tribal parties which have come up just before these elections. They are the Gondwana Mukti Sangathan (GMS) and Rashtriya Gondwana Party (RGP).
This spurt in tribal parties has got the national parties worried, the Congress being the most concerned one.
They may be small in number but could upset the calculations of the BJP and Congress).
It was the Congress which engineered a split within the Gondwana Ganatantra party to reduce their bargaining power.
Divided ranks could weaken the tribals but these very MLAs could also help prop the Congress party in its endeavour to form the state assembly if the latter falls short of numbers.
Elections are a run up to the Lok Sabha polls next year and if once again the tribals decide to turn away their faces from the Congress and BJP, it could spell trouble for the two national parties.
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