The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) have formed a unique alliance for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.
This marks the first time these parties are joining forces in a state largely dominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
As per report by Indian Express, the BSP will contest 178 out of the 230 Assembly seats, while the GGP will field candidates in 52 constituencies.
The GGP, established in 1991, primarily advocates for the rights of the Gondi tribal community in Madhya Pradesh and aims for a separate Gondwana state in the region.
The alliance aims to bring together Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities in the state, as these groups traditionally vote for either the BJP or the Congress.
Madhya Pradesh has a significant SC population, comprising around 16 per cent of the state's residents, with 35 reserved Assembly seats. In the 2018 elections, the BJP won 18 SC seats, and the Congress secured 17.
Tribals account for over 21 per cent of the population in Madhya Pradesh, with 47 reserved ST Assembly seats. In the 2018 polls, the BJP won 16 ST seats, while the Congress won 30.
The BSP traditionally has a support base in regions bordering Uttar Pradesh, including Bundelkhand and the Gwalior-Chambal belt, which have substantial Dalit populations.
Meanwhile, the GGP garners support from the Mahakaushal region, particularly in districts with a notable Gondi population.
With the combined SC and ST vote share at 37 per cent, the BSP-GGP alliance aims to establish itself as a credible third front. Their goal is to challenge the BJP's support among Dalits and tribals.
Despite the BJP's efforts to attract SC and ST communities through welfare schemes and a pro-poor image, the BSP-GGP alliance hopes to gain ground in regions that have witnessed Gondi and Dalit movements.
The GGP, despite past divisions and factionalism, seeks to revive itself by uniting under one platform and is exploring alliances with OBC-led parties in other states.
They aim to address tribal community issues, including a demand for 25 per cent of mining project royalties, free education, and healthcare.
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