Madhya Pradesh has been one of the major bastions of the Congress party in the post-independence period in the Hindi heartland. The origin and establishment of the INC in the colonial period and its early pattern of dominance vis-à-vis the lower castes and tribals, has been similar to the other states of the region particularly UP, Bihar and Rajasthan. The leadership of the party both in the colonial and post-colonial period in this region has been from the upper castes, but it has been able to gain the support of the lower castes/tribals, albeit through the system of patron—client relationships, which made them a vote bank of the party. Social and political consciousness among the disadvantaged groups has been low until recently with no large anti-caste movements in all these states compared to southern and western India.