Chouhan out of step.

Despite BJP’s tribal outreach, party struggling in MP adivasi belt

In 2018, BJP's tally reduced by half in tribal districts; party now in overdrive to woo tribals

Prashun Bhaumik | Bhopal | 14 November, 2023 | 11:00 PM

The Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act or PESA that had been passed in Parliament back in 1996 was finally being implemented in Madhya Pradesh. “We had been waiting for this for 26 years, so it felt great to know that it is finally a reality,” says Kamlesh Kharte, an Adivasi farmer in Bomnali village of Barwani district. This combined with the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led-BJP government’s move of renaming railway stations and universities after tribal icons, inaugurating memorials in honour of tribal leaders who served as freedom fighters, and making it a point to hat-tip the state’s tribal culture at every opportunity, gave the Adivasi farmers much to celebrate. “It felt like our voice was now being heard and valued,” Kharte says.