Organising ‘khat sabhas’ (charpoy meetings) has been a common form of electioneering in tribal-dominated districts of Jhabua and Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh, long before they became a part of strategy for expanding Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s connect with voters in Uttar Pradesh.
The ‘khat sabhas’ fetched handsome dividend in the form of a huge victory for Congress in Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha by-election held last November.
In Madhya Pradesh, the tribals call such meetings as ‘khatla sabhas’.
Holding of ‘khatla sabhas’ was believed to be the major reason behind former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria’s victory over his nearest BJP rival Nirmala Bhuria. He had defeated Nirmala by a margin of 88,832 votes.
The ex-minister had held a string of such charpoy meetings in run-up to the bypoll.
“Of course, the cot meetings have played an important role in the victory of my father,” admitted Bhuria’s son Vikrant while speaking to PTI on Tuesday.
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The ‘khaat sabha’ is believed to be the brainchild of Congress’ election strategist Prashant Kishor where Rahul Gandhi would interact with the farmers in the run up to the UP Assembly polls, due next year.