The heads of four erstwhile states — Chhatrasinh Suryavanshi (Linga), Kiransinh Pawar (Gadhvi), Trikamrao Puwar (Pimpri) and Dhanrajsinh Pawar (Vasurna) — were welcomed to the party by state Cabinet Minister Ganpat Vasava, at an event held in Ahwa, Dangs. Tapatrao Pawar, head of the fifth erstwhile state, Daher, is expected to join the BJP soon.
Talking to the Indian Express, Chhatrasinh Suryavanshi said, “We joined BJP because many of our issues are pending to be resolved. In a meeting with Ganpat Vasava, we raised demands such as increase in political pension and providing construction loan on the plots of kings. At present, the monthly pension to the erstwhile kings given by the government ranges between Rs 6,000 and Rs 9,000.”
“Erstwhile kings are members of forest mandlis, which have been permitted to cut trees from forest areas and sell them. Around 80% of the amount received goes to the state government while the forest mandlis get the remaining 20%. We want government to give forest mandlis 15% more from their share,” he said.
“We also want the state government to give education subsidies to our grandchildren. We have assured Ganpat Vasava of support for the upcoming bypolls in Dangs. If we support BJP in the by polls, our issues and demands will be later looked at by government. Tapatrao was busy with some other work… He has also assured support to the BJP and will join the party in the coming days,” Suryavanshi added.
Dangs BJP president Babulal Chaurya said, “All four kings have joined BJP in the presence of Ganpat Vasava. The party will majorly benefit in the upcoming bypolls.” This is for the first time that BJP has reached to the erstwhile tribal kings for their support.
A few days ago, the BJP had organised a meeting with Christian community leaders in a farm house in Subir taluka of Dangs district. The Congress has fielded a Christian candidate, Suryakant Gavit, from Dangs against BJP’s Vijay Patel.
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