For nearly a decade, his name popped up in political discourse in Gujarat as elections approached. On the vortex of the fake encounters that became a crucial part of campaigning during the 2007 and 2012 parliamentary elections, retired Inspector General of Police (IGP) DG Vanzara on Wednesday heralded his own political outfit, Praja Vijay Paksha, to run candidates all 182 congressional seats for the two-stage elections on December 1 and 5.
Vanzara, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who was one of the first officers of the tribal community in northern Gujarat, had a meteoric rise in the political establishment after a series of terrorist encounters, including those of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jehan . However, he became mired in controversy when a CID probe claimed the two encounters were fake and Vanzara was arrested along with half a dozen police officers in these two cases in 2007.
These meeting cases continued to have huge political ramifications with the arrest of then Interior Minister Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case in 2010. The issue became a huge political topic of discussion with the BJP accusing the then congressional government at the center of destabilizing the Gujarat government by targeting its politicians and police officers.
Shah and Vanzara were both later acquitted in the case. Although Vanzara was once considered close to Amit Shah, the two apparently argued after Shah was released on bail and later acquitted. Vanzara had complained that Shah had done little to help the officials arrested in the cases. In 2013, he had written an explosive letter claiming that he had been the victim of a political controversy and had indirectly exhumed Shah.
Vanzara had expressed his willingness to take the political leap even in the latest parliamentary elections, but ahead of these polls to be held next month, he has not only launched his party, but announced that the party would compete from all 182 seats. in the state.
“Congress has never been an alternative to the people of Gujarat. They have never been able to tackle issues like unemployment and corruption by the ruling BJP in Gujarat,” said Vanzara. He said that the Praja Vijay Paksha will be a ‘Hinduwadi’ party and that the Congress or the Aam Aadmi party are not in a position to adopt the Hindutva ideology. “This party will not only tackle corruption and unemployment, but also the problems facing the majority community,” Vanzara said.
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