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Tribal outfit JAYS' entry in political fray upsets BJP calculations on tribal seats in MP

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BHOPAL: Jay Adiwasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS), a tribal group, that has steadily grown in the state, has announced that it will contest the upcoming Madhya Pradesh polls.

The group that has influence in tribal dominated areas of MP, had been working on the ground for quite sometime.

JAYS has been aggressively going from town to town across MP, creating awareness among tribals regarding their rights.

Especially, it has support among the tribal youth.  During the Aadiwasi Adhikar Yatra, it was apparent JAYS had succceeded in establishing a connect at the grassroots.

BJP had done well on the tribal seats earlier and the rise of JAYS has the potential to upset its politics. The state convenor of JAYS, Dr Hira Alawa has said that the group would fight elections and its aim is to oust the BJP from power.

Dr Alawa said that any party that needs the group's support, will have to project a tribal as chief minister. The Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) has popular support in several tribal pockets.

However, it got weakened after the split, though it still commands a chunk of tribal vote. JAYS leaders claim that they have a base in nearly two dozen districts of Madhya Pradesh.

BJP has been worried over its growing influence among young tribal youth. It was this reason that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had met Dr Hira Alawa. However, JAYS leader gave a charter of demands to the CM.

After the 25 point list that talked about tribal rights and their empowerment, the talks broke down. It has been the popular support received by the organisation, that has caused worry among the leaders of the ruling party.  

The truth is that JAYS has worked hard and reached out to the tribals. It has made them aware about their rights, talked about schedule five and its importance, how tribal can't be forced out of his own land and how he has a right on resources.

This is the reason that there is overwhelming support for JAYS across the tribal belt in Madhya Pradesh--from Alirajpur and Jhabua in the east, to Malwa and up to Mandla. Clearly, upcoming elections are going to witness a major change, as tribals are all set to assert themselves, politically.