March 17, 2021 4:23:46 am
A LITTLE-KNOWN outfit, Vyavastha Parivartan Party (VPP), wrested power in Jam Raval municipality in Devbhumi Dwarka by ousting the ruling BJP with the Congress’s help Monday.
VPP, floated by Dharamshi Dhapa of Bhavnagar in 2016, had won 12 of the 24 seats of Jam Raval municipality in the local body polls last month, whose results were announced on March 2. The BJP, which had seized control of the civic body in 2018 following defections by Congress councillors, managed to win eight seats in the election, while the Congress was reduced to four seats only. In the 2015 polls, Congress had won majority of seats.
While the new outfit was one seat short of simple majority in the 24-member general board, Congress backed the VPP to keep the BJP at bay.
In the election for the posts of president and vice-president of Jam Raval municipality on Monday, VPP fielded Manoj Jadav and Liluben Solanki, respectively. While Jadav and Solanki got 16 votes each, the BJP nominees polled only eight
“Since the foundation of our party, this is for the first time that we won any seat in a local body… The fact that we won 12 seats in Jam Raval shows that people of that town felt that the existing system of two-party polity isn’t working and needs a change offered by VPP,” Dhapa, who runs a provision store in Bhavnagar, said.
VPP had fielded its candidates in 22 constituencies in the 2017 Assembly elections and in four seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha seats but had failed to open its account. The party had unsuccessfully contested the by-election to Dhari Assembly constituency in Amreli last year. In the local body elections held in February, the party had fielded its candidates in municipal corporations, district panchayats, taluka panchayats as well as municipalities. However, it could win only in Jam Raval.
Before floating his own political party, Dhapa had worked for parties like Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party.
Jadav (33), a private veterinarian and with no history of being involved in party politics said they focused on local issues. “The town gets flooded almost every monsoon. A vast majority of residents of the town are poor labourers but the town lacks health facilities for them and education opportunities for their children. Therefore, we, the aware citizens of Jam Raval formed a committee and decided to contest polls. It was important to contest poll on common symbol but at the same time, it was difficult to get a political party registered on short notice. Therefore, we approached Dhapa and he accepted us as VPP candidates,” Jadav said.
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