Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder and MLA Chhotu Vasava said on Sunday that he will submit the nomination for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections from the Jhagadia seat, from which the party had previously announced the candidacy of his son Mahesh Vasava.
Chhotu Vasava could not be reached for comment after the announcement.
“Tomorrow (November 14) I am going to submit the nomination for the election of 152 (seat number) Jhagadia Assembly constituency. All my employees must remain at Jhagadia,” the BTP founder posted on his Twitter handle without elaborating further.
The Jhagadia seat in Narmada district is reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.
According to a list of candidates recently released by the BTP for the December 1-5 state assembly elections, Mahesh Vasava, the current president of the tribal party, has been removed from Jhagadia.
Mahesh Vasava had successfully contested the 2017 state assembly election from Dediapada seat in Narmada district. This time, the BTP, which has significant influence in the adivasi-dominated areas of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Gujarat, has ousted Bahadursinh Vasava from the seat.
Chhotu Vasava had won seven consecutive terms from the Jhagadia seat. He was the Janata Dal (United) candidate for six terms until 2012 before running as a candidate of the BTP, which he put forward that year.
In the 2017 parliamentary elections, the BTP had won two of the three seats it contested in conjunction with Congress.
Chhotu Vasava had then won from Jhagadia, and his son from Dediapada.
The father-son duo abstained from voting in the June 2020 Rajya Sabha elections and announced the severance of ties with Congress in two panchayat bodies in Narmada and Bharuch in December of that year.
In May this year, the founder of BTP held a joint meeting with the National Chairman of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, in Bharuch and formed an alliance.
However, the alliance did not work.
The BTP has announced that it will contest all seats reserved for the ST category in the state as well as other seats with significant tribal populations.
Out of a total of 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat, 27 are reserved for the ST candidates.
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