That’s right, Rahul Gandhi, who is the Vice President of the Indian National Congress, is scheduled to head towards West Odisha in the very near future.
This trip would be in order for the Vice President to attend a rally in regards to forest land rights in tribe dominated lands. According to senior members of Congress, Gandhi has made reassurances regarding his presence as he wants to heavily emphasize the proper practice and implementation of forest land rights.
Gandhi’s stance on the rights of tribal over forest lands has been a long standing one and has frequently criticized the Narendra Modi establishment of not only ignoring the plights of the common tribal residents by allowing industrialists to roam free and unchecked but also highlighting the prevalent exploitation of the locals. Phrases like ‘anti-farmer’ and anti-laborer’ (mazdoor) have been frequently heard and he has also given previous statements regarding the matter how the current government’s policies are pro-corporate, anti-local and anti-tribal, thus robbing those who may not have as much monetary or political influence of their rights as Indian citizens. On some occasions he has also lamented the fact that he has been forced to clean up the messes left behind by previous governments.
Congress’ Vice President’s views on land acquisition and criticism of the lack of government attention towards the development of rural local issues especially tribal, are not new ones and have been vocalized on many occasions including Chhattisgarh in 2015 and the Save Farmers March in Odisha, also in 2015.
There are also rumors of the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s party president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the rally are also coming to light. Whether we expect any verbal confrontation between the BJP and Congress regarding the matter is still in question, but undoubtedly the presence of both parties is likely to bring some heated tension in the air.
Sources have not yet revealed the exact date and venue of Rahul Gandhi’s arrival to Odisha, it can undoubtedly be said that he will be there to emphasize his party’s position regarding the matter and show support towards the local working class population.
Congress is trying to strengthen the loopholes from past general elections in which it saw a buffeting defeat from BJP. The dalit and tribal card may try to give some space and bounce back to congress. Recent visits of Rahul Gandhi in JNU and Rohit Vemula Hyderabad case, are sure indicator that Rahul Gandhi is trying to strengthen the loose poles of Indian voters.
A large section of society is influenced when a national leader of such repute comes to see them.It may be regarded as a successful attempt to woo the voters. The hard realities of politics are seeing a visual picture in Odhisha. Congress and BJP are trying to counter each other by best possible mechanism, no matter what it takes.