Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will flag off the party’s 12-day ‘Adivasi Adhikar Yatra’ from the temple town of Ambaji in Banaskantha district on November 19, the birth anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, said GPCC chief Bharatsinh Solanki on Monday.
Party president Sonia Gandhi is expected to address a function on the concluding day of the yatra at Shabaridham, a religious site in the jungles of Dangs in south Gujarat, he said.
With this yatra, the party plans to revive its tribal support base ahead of the Assembly elections in 2017. BJP had made a major dent in Congress’s tribal support base when it won 12 Assembly seats out of 27 reserved for tribals in the 2012 polls.
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Congress has pressed all its tribal leaders in the state to mobilise “adivasis” for the yatra and make the event a success.
The state Congress leadership feels that the party can retrieve its lost support base, going by the massive support of tribals it got in the November 2015 zilla panchayat elections. Out of 23 zilla pancyhayats that the party had won in November 2015, eight are the tribal-dominated districts of Arvalli, Sabarkantha, Chhota Udepur, Dahod, Dangs, Mahisagar, Tapi and Vadodara.
In Narmada and Bharuch zilla panchayats, having a significant tribal population, Congress captured power with JD(U)’s support.
The yatra by cars and other four-wheelers will cover 90 to 100 km everyday. After starting from Ambaji, the yatra will cover Himmatnagar, Modasa, Lunavada, Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Vadodara, Rajpipla, Bharuch, Vyara, Tapi, Navsari and Valsad before culminating at Shabaridham on December 2.