Tribal leader and Janata Dal (United) MLA Chhotu Vasava did not cast his vote for the presidential election on Monday as a mark of protest against the alleged inaction of authorities to safeguard the rights of tribals in Gujarat. Except for Vasava, all the 181 MLAs of Gujarat cast their vote. Vasava represent Jhagadia constituency of Bharuch district in the Assembly.
“Except for Chhotubhai Vasava, a total 181 MLAs have voted today. (BJP president) Amit Shah (who represents Naranpura Assembly constituency) voted in Delhi. Whereas, Ashok Gehlot, the Congress MLA of Rajasthan, cast his vote here in Gujarat,” Patel said.
Vasava could not be contacted for his comment, but JD(U) general secretary for Gujarat, Ambalal Jadav said, “Vasava refrained from voting to protest inaction of various authorities, including the office of the President of India, in safeguarding the rights of tribals in Gujarat… Our party stands against a number of anti-tribal policies of Gujarat, including the Statue of Unity project in the tribal district of Narmada.”
Meanwhile, before going to cast his vote, Gujarat Parivartan Party MLA from Dhari constituency Nalin Kotadiya told mediapersons that he would not vote for the BJP’s presidential Ram Nath Kovind to protest against the “atrocities committed by Gujarat Police on Patidar community” which has been agitating for reservation in government jobs.