BJP leader Tarachand Kasat, who is spearheading Surat textile traders’ protest against the implementation of GST, on Wednesday quit the party just ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. A member of the executive committee of BJP’s Surat city unit, Kasat had recently demanded ticket from the party to contest from Udhna Assembly constituency. “I have not given my resignation because I see no chance of getting a ticket. I have fought for the traders who are the votebank of BJP,” Kasat told The Indian Express after submitting his resignation to Surat City BJP chief Nitin Bhajiyawala.
Kasat said that his decision to lead of the traders’ agitation did not go down well with the party, which “sidelined” him.
“As a trader, I took active part in the agitation. The BJP, however, did not like it and there was an immense pressure on me to back out from the protest. But I thought of my fellow traders. Today, I see that I am not being given due respect in the party. Seeing myself sidelined, I decided to leave the party,” said Kasat, who began his political career as the BJP’s Surat Youth Wing vice-president in 1996. His proximity to BJP MP late Kashiram Rana ensured that he was made member of the All India Textile Committee. Kasat had fought Surat Municipal Corporation election on a BJP ticket in 2002, but lost. Kasat, however, denied leaning towards any other political party at the moment. “At present, I am not joining any political party,” he said.