Faulty implementation of FRA said to be a reason for party winning just three of the 41 tribal seats in the country
FRA gives tribal people the right over forest land and its produce. The Congress party tried to use FRA as an election plank this time, but not in 2009 when the whole emphasis was on MGNREGSHowever, most of the tribal seats this time have been won by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and regional parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), YSR Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) (see list of seats below).
It is strange that the Congress party has tried to use FRA as an election plank this time because it had not emphasised on the legislation as an achievement in the 2009 elections.
Experts say that anti-incumbency factors compounded by non-implementation of FRA in letter and spirit are behind Congress’ poor show this time. Ravi Rebpragada of Samata, a Hyderabad based non-profit working on implementation of FRA, also blamed the faulty implementation of FRA as the main reason behind Congress’ debacle. “Congress would have gained if it had implemented FRA in letter and spirit,” says Ravi. “The claim of providing land patta to one million forest dwellers was mostly confined to papers only,” he added.
Kishore Chandra Deo, Union tribal affairs minister lost Aruku-Kothapalli in Andhra Pradesh to YSRCAnother activist from Jharkhand, Sanjay Basu Malik, also said that the loss was due to anti-incumbency factors as well as local issues.
“Congress failed to reach out to tribals or propagate its achievement. This gave right wing organisations like the Rastrya Swayamsewak Sangh a chance to milk the opportunity,” said Malik. He also said that the BJP took advantage of a weak Left movement which led to the division of secular vote.
|Winners in tribal constituencies|
Dadra and Nagar Haveli