The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi might have had his guns trained on Rahul Gandhi, but his eyes were firmly set on the electoral maths of Rajasthan.
With Mewar’s 28 seats deciding the fate of the state assembly and tribals comprising a chunk of voters, Modi had a sweet word for them on Friday.
Not only was Lord Ram helped by tribals during his 14 years sojourn in forests, “the Britishers were challenged in areas habituated by tribals,” Modi said at the Janjati Morcha Sammelan at Udaipur’s Maharaj Bhopal Stadium. “This is land of Govind Guru and Sant Mavji Maharaj who sacrificed their lives for freedom.”
The tribals, he added, have left their footprint in Gujarat too. “A large number of people from Mewar work in Gujarat, where people trust them because they are honest.”
The party added some sops to the pot as well. State party chief Vasundhara Raje announced a slew of measures that are to be included in the party manifesto.
These would include a separate cadre for employment of tribals, a special police battalion, mega-highways in tribal areas, sports and education infrastructure and mobile veterinary service for cattle.
Of Mewar’s 28 assembly seats, 20 are with the Congress and only six with the BJP. The Udaipur district has nine constituencies, of which six are reserved for STs.