BJP Sweeps Gujarat's Tribal Belt, a Long-Time Congress Stronghold

Congress had won 15 of the 27 tribal seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls, while the BJP had won just 8.

Hindi Female

The Congress party appears to have lost its hold over the tribal belt of Gujarat, which has traditionally been the party’s stronghold, with the BJP winning 23 out of the 27 Adivasi seats. Gujarat has a substantial tribal population comprising 15 percent of the state and is spread across a dozen of its eastern districts.

The Congress had won 15 of the 27 tribal seats in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP had won just eight and the Congress' then ally Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) had won two seats. But the trend seems to have reversed this time around.


The Reasons?

One primary reason why this may have happened is because three of the top tribal leaders of the Congress – Ashvin Kotwal, Jitu Chaudhary, and Mangal Gavit – joined the BJP in the last few years. Moreover, in November, Mohansinh Rathva, a senior tribal leader and 10-time Congress MLA, quit the party and joined the BJP.

The Congress has dominated the tribal belt in Gujarat since the 1950s.

Besides this, the lacklustre campaigning by the Congress overall aided the poor results. The BJP too has tried its best to woo the tribal castes by organising one leg of its 'Gujarat Gaurav Yatra' in the tribal belt.

The BJP won 156 seats in Gujarat and the Congress in 17. The AAP is leading in six seats. The BJP has secured a vote share of 49.05 percent in 2017 and has increased to 52.9 percent this time around.

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Topics:  Congress   Gujarat   Gujarat Congress 

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