Odisha News Insight

Congress regaining lost ground in Odisha’s Tribal Belt

Pradeep-Majhi-KandhamalOnly a few months ago, Congress was almost down and out in Odisha. While the ruling Biju Janata Dal looked invincible, BJP was tipped to be the main Opposition party in 2019 Assembly polls. Infighting had gripped the state unit of the Congress with leaders taking public posturing and rushing to Delhi to complain against each other. The party was heading towards a split.

However, over the last three months or so, things have drastically changed. Former Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi’s ‘tribal movement’ has yielded results for the Odisha Congress. It started in Raighar with the agitation over the allotment of forest land pattas to tribals under Forest Rights Act. Majhi spent a week in jail and launched hunger strike too. That changed the course of the political game in the state.

Even, other leaders of his party, who were almost in sleeping mode, found themselves rejuvenated. It did not stop in Raighar. Congress received more ammunition in Gumudumaha (Kandhamal), Nagada (Jajpur) and Dana Majhi case (Kalahandi). Ahead of Panchayat polls, the party successfully raked up the tribal issue to put the ruling party on back foot. The party has certainly regained the lost ground and raring to go, pushing BJP to the corner.

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