Of the 101 ST reserved seats, the BJP won 57 – a win rate of 56% – with a slightly higher strike rate in Chhattisgarh, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Of the 79 reserved SC seats, it secured 52 (the figure was 32 in 2018).
Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP has stepped up its ST outreach since last year – in November, he addressed a Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas in Bhopal and followed it up with a rally of tendu leaf pickers Amit Shah. It continues to highlight that Droupadi Murmu, the country’s first tribal president, is the BJP’s candidate for the top constitutional post.
The outreach worked in Gujarat in 2022 when the BJP won 23 of the 27 ST seats, but it failed in the Karnataka polls.
BJP won all the seats in Surguja region, the backyard of former Chhattisgarh deputy CM and Congress leader TS Singh Deo. Similarly, in Rajasthan, the party fared well in the reserved SC and ST seats in Dausa, where Congress leader Sachin Pilot seems to have considerable influence.