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Ajit Jogi failed to woo tribals

Jyoti Shukla in Raipur | December 05, 2003 01:52 IST
Last Updated: December 05, 2003 03:03 IST

For a chief minister who went to town over his tribal origins, Ajit Jogi has failed to convince his own brethren about him being their saviour.

He admitted as much while addressing mediapersons in Raipur after it was apparent that the Congress would have to make way for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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He attributed the debacle to the drubbing the party received in Naxal-infested tribal areas where it did not win even one of the 20 seats at stake.

Bastar and Dantewara districts form the heart of the tribal belt in Chhattisgarh. Together they account for 20 assembly seats.

Bastar has a literacy rate of 45% and adjoining Dantewara district 30%. Both are Naxalite-affected and very backward. These factors usually converted into low voter turnout, which is believed generally benefits the Congress.

The Congress held 10 of the 12 seats in Bastar and Jogi unfailingly harped on his so-called tribal origins at every rally and meeting in the district. The belief was that the party, which could carry Bastar would be in a position to form the government.

Whether it was due to the opposition claim the Jogi is no tribal but a converted Christian or the lack of development in the region, the people of this region did not elect even a single Congress MLA. The other two seats also went to the BJP.

Worse, of the 34 seats reserved for scheduled tribe/caste candidates in the state, the Congress could win only 4 this time.

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