The Bharatiya Janata Party, which registered a resounding victory in the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, has improved its performance in the constituencies reserved for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes by winning 50 of the total 82 such seats, a gain of 17 segments as compared to the 2018 election.
The poll results show that the BJP has increased its base among the SC, ST communities in the state. However, the party's prominent tribal face and Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste lost the election.
Elections to the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly were held on November 17 and the counting of votes took place on December 3.
The BJP retained power in the state by winning 163 seats, relegating the Congress to a distant second with 66 seats, down from the 114 the grand old party had got in 2018.
As per the results, the BJP won 50 out of the total 82 seats reserved for ST and SC communities. In the last election, it had won 33 such seats.
Of the 47 ST-reserved seats that went to polls this time, the BJP won 24, while the Congress's tally came down to 22 - a loss of nine assembly segments as compared to the previous election. In 2018, the BJP had won 15 of these seats.
One of the ST-reserved seats -- Sailana in Ratlam district -- was bagged by the new poll entrant Bharat Adivasi Party, which is headquartered in Rajasthan.
Of the 35 SC-reserved seats, the BJP emerged victorious in 26 while the Congress's tally came down to nine - a loss of eight seats as compared to previous assembly election.
The BJP had won 18 seats in 2018.
But while the BJP's base expanded among the tribals, Union minister Kulaste, a prominent tribal face of the saffron party, lost the election from Niwas seat in Mandla.
State BJP spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said his party received love from all sections of the society, including members of the SC and ST communities.
"ST and SC communities have shown their love for the BJP. The Congress has always disparaged the SC, ST icons and overlooked the well-being of these communities while the BJP cared for them on priority and arranged for their employment, education, bank loan guarantee schemes, etc," he said.
Chaturvedi said the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act has been implemented in Madhya Pradesh to empower the tribal community.
"Sant Ravidas and tribal icons Birsa Munda, Tantya Mama, Shankar Shah, Raghunath Shah, Rani Durgawati were given their due respect by the BJP," he said.
The BJP government in the state laid the foundation stone for the Rs 100-crore temple-cum-memorial of Sant Ravidas in Sagar in August this year.
When asked about the party's poor performance in these reserved seats, state Congress media department chairman KK Mishra told PTI, "The party has been taking a review of all these points. The reason that led to this situation will be known after a review."