State scan: BJP bets big on PESA to woo tribal turf in Madhya Pradesh

The tribal vote in Madhya Pradesh is crucial in any election. The Bharatiya Janata Party's loss in the last Assembly election has prompted it to take remedial action

Sandeep Kumar
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (right) and Governor Mangubhai Patel with President Droupadi Murmu

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (right) and Governor Mangubhai Patel with President Droupadi Murmu

With just about eight months left for the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is firming up its strategy. The party has still not recovered from the shock of losing the tribal-dominated seats in 2018. What is adding to its worries is the fact that tribal-dominated Barwani, Dhar, and Alirajpur districts (Malwa-Nimar region) are considered strongholds of the Jai Yuva Adivasi Sangathan (JAYS). This organisation supported the Congress in 2018.
To woo the tribals once again, the BJP is now pinning hopes on the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act and PESA coordinators. The Act aims to ensure self-governance via traditional gram sabhas in scheduled areas dominated by tribal communities. With the help of these coordinators, it wants to kill two birds with one stone.
Opposition parties allege that people associated with the ruling party have been recruited so that they can support the BJP. T

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First Published: Mar 26 2023 | 10:30 PM IST

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