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Rift in family, Chhotubhai to file nomination as independent from Jhagadia

On Sunday, Chhotubhai took to Twitter saying he would file his nomination on Monday. "Tomorrow (Nov 14) I am going to file the nomination for the election of 152-Jhagadia Assembly constituency."

Chhotu Vasava was a JD(U) MLA from Jhagadia, an ST-reserved seat, from 2002 to 2017. (File)

Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder and MLA Chhotu Vasava Sunday announced he will contest the upcoming Assembly elections as an independent from Jhagadia from where the party had earlier announced the candidature of his son and BTP President Mahesh Vasava.

On Sunday, Chhotubhai took to Twitter saying he would file his nomination on Monday. “Tomorrow (Nov 14) I am going to file the nomination for the election of 152-Jhagadia Assembly constituency. All my workers should remain present at Jhagadia,” he tweeted.

Chhotubhai, who has been winning the constituency–the only seat reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates in Bharuch district–since 1990, told The Indian Express that the decision was a result of a difference of opinion with Mahesh. “At this moment, I am filing my nomination tomorrow independently. I do not need any party as I am a party in myself… Whatever it (differences) be, today we (Mahesh and Chhotubhai) are not together but maybe tomorrow we will be,” he said.

Mahesh successfully contested the 2017 state Assembly election from Dediapada seat in Narmada district. BTP has fielded Bahadursinh Vasava from the seat this time as Mahesh’s close confidant Chaitar Vasava has defected to AAP and is contesting from here.

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The father-son duo had abstained from voting in the June 2020 Rajya Sabha election and in December that year, announced breaking off ties with the Congress in two panchayat bodies in Narmada and Bharuch.

In May, the BTP founder held a joint rally with the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Bharuch and entered into an alliance. The alliance, however, did not work.

The BTP has announced to contest all seats reserved for the ST category in the state and also other seats having a sizable tribal population.
Of the total 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat, 27 are reserved for the ST candidates.

(With PTI inputs)

First published on: 13-11-2022 at 20:37 IST
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