The Forest Rights Act, though a significant legislation for tribal and forest dwellers, was not used as an election tool. Will the political parties benefit from electoral dividends of this law in tribal areas? The Congress and regional parties like the BJD and the JMM have indeed focused their campaign on this law that for first time recognised tribals' settlement rights and gave these people power over minor forest products. The election results in tribal constituencies will show whether it will help Congress the way rural employment programme did in 2009 elections.
Must read for a head start:
Rights without benefits
Fifty villages in Gadchiroli boycott polls, demanding forest rights
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