Udaipur— In a strategic move to consolidate its hold on tribal-dominated regions, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has chosen Mangarh Dham in Banswara district of Rajasthan to kickstart the party's election campaign on the occasion of World Tribal Day, August 9.
This rally marks Gandhi's first public address in Rajasthan following his Bharat Jodo Yatra, underscoring the significance of the event.
Mangarh Dham, situated at the confluence of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, has emerged as a focal point for tribal politics. The region spans eight districts – Banswara, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Rajsamand, Pratapgarh, Pali, and Sirohi – and encompasses 37 assembly seats with a tribal majority. Of these, 21 seats are currently held by the BJP, making the upcoming state elections a pivotal battleground for both parties.
Congress' concerted effort to unite tribal, Dalit, backward, and minority communities underscores its ambition to retain power in Rajasthan and regain control of Madhya Pradesh. The party's emphasis on tribal representation is evidenced by the appointment of Madhya Pradesh's tribal leader, Kantilal Bhuria, as the chairman of the campaign committee.
Rallying under the banner of celebrating World Tribal Day, the Congress aims to deliver a powerful social message that transcends politics. "Tribals have been demanding to declare Mangarh Dham a national monument for years," said Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara. While the Congress cannot unilaterally declare it a national monument, the party intends to make announcements in this direction, aligning with the aspirations of the tribal community.
With an eye on the forthcoming elections, the Congress party is keenly aware of the significance of tribal voters, especially after their strong support in Karnataka. The party has been propagating the Manipur incident across multiple states, connecting with regions that share ties with Mangarh Dham. As Congress gears up to contest elections in these states, the rally's impact becomes even more crucial.
The event is anticipated to feature significant announcements, potentially addressing long-standing demands of the tribal community. "This rally is very special for the Congress," emphasized Dotasara, highlighting the party's determination to address tribal issues and leverage the support garnered from these areas.
In the backdrop of upcoming assembly elections, this rally could hold the key to Congress' electoral success. As the party strives to secure the 17 reserved seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Udaipur and Banswara divisions and an additional 12 tribal seats in Madhya Pradesh, Mangarh Dham assumes the role of a political epicenter.
As preparations reach their crescendo, all eyes are on Rahul Gandhi's address in Mangarh Dham. This historic rally not only signifies the Congress' commitment to tribal welfare but also signals a pivotal moment in the political landscape of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. With tribal politics taking center stage, the rally holds the promise of shaping the electoral trajectory for both the Congress and its rivals.
Amid the backdrop of the previous assembly elections in Rajasthan, where the Congress faced challenges in securing victories in Udaipur, Banswara, Dungarpur, and Pratapgarh regions, the party now seeks to resonate with the tribal populace. These areas witnessed setbacks for Congress, with prominent leaders suffering electoral defeats. Notably, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) made inroads in Dungarpur, leading to the election of two BTP MLAs. Recognizing the importance of addressing this historical gap, Congress is strategically focusing on appeasing the tribal communities in these regions. As part of this outreach, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is anticipated to unveil a series of significant announcements aimed at bolstering support from the tribal demographic.