Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder Chhotu Vasava submitted his nomination on Monday as an independent candidate from the Jhagadia Assembly seat in Bharuch district of Gujarat, running against his son Mahesh in the same constituency.
Chhotu Vasava, who has represented the Scheduled Tribes (ST) reserved seat in the Assembly for seven consecutive terms, submitted his nomination as an independent and sounded confident about his victory in the Dec. 1 election.
Mahesh Vasava, the national president of BTP, son of Chhotu Vasava, is the party’s official candidate in Jhagadia.
Speaking about his move, senior Vasava said he has to fight the polls because there is no one else to stand against the ruling BJP.
Asked about his son as a candidate of the seat, the veteran tribal leader said: “Members of a family can compete from four places (seats)… the BJP is not going to win either in the country or in Gujarat. I have all hope for victory.”
Chhotu Vasava’s personal secretary Abbalal Jadhav told media that the senior legislator had submitted his nomination form as an independent candidate, ending speculation whether or not he will run from the seat.
“Chhotu Vasava has said that he will continue to fight for tribal rights till his last breath, be it through polls or on social media. No one can take the Jhagadia seat from Chhotu Vasava. His supporters held a rally in his hometown , where it was decided that he would contest the election,” said Jadhav.
Jadhav added that such disputes, like the one between a father and son, are not uncommon in politics, adding that it (battle) will be short-lived and a solution will be found very soon.
Meanwhile, BTP President Mahesh Vasava confirmed that he had submitted his nomination from Jhagadia. He had won against Dediapada constituency in Narmada district in the 2017 polls.
The father-son duo were the only two winners of the party in 2017.
“I have submitted my nomination as a BTP candidate. As the national chairman of the BTP, I can say that we will win many seats. There will not be a clear majority in the upcoming elections. People are aware. The fight is against unemployment, the COVID-19 pandemic and GST,” said Mahesh Vasava.
Asked if he would run against his father, he said anyone has the right to submit nomination forms.
Bahadursinh Vasava is the BTP candidate for Dediapada seat this time.
In the 2017 election, the BTP, which has significant influence in tribal-dominated parts of the state, had won two of the three seats it had been fighting for as part of an alliance with the opposition Congress. Senior Vasava won against Jhagadia and his son against Dediapada.
Incidentally, the father-son duo had abstained from voting in the June 2020 Rajya Sabha elections and later announced to cut ties with the Congress in panchayat bodies in Narmada and Bharuch districts.
In May this year, Chhotu Vasava had formed an alliance with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and held a joint meeting in Bharuch with AAP National Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
However, the BTP later withdrew from the alliance with AAP.
Of the 182 parliamentary seats in Gujarat, 89 will go to the polls on December 1 in the first phase. The last day of withdrawal of candidacy for the first phase is November 17.
The second phase of the poll on December 5 will cover the remaining 93 parliamentary seats.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
Featured video of the day
Video: NewsMadura Report On Murder In Delhi, 35 Body Parts Dumped By Forest