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Tribal leader Chhotu Vasava not to fight from Jhagadia Seat, his son enters

Chhotu Vasava, the founder of the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), will not compete from his traditional seat of Jhagadia in the Bharuch district of Gujarat, where he has won seven in a row, and instead his son will spend the next month in the battle of the constituency fighting elections.

According to the second list of six candidates released by the tribal party for the December 1-5 elections, Chhotu Vasava’s son Mahesh Vasava has been expelled from Jhagadia.

Mahesh Vasava had won against Dediapada in Narmada district in the 2017 parliamentary elections. Before that, he had emerged victorious from the same seat in 2002 (when the BTP did not exist).

The BTP, which has significant influence in adivasi-dominated areas of Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat, won two seats in the Assembly in 2017 when it fought elections in an alliance with Congress. However, the regional outfit later severed ties with the main opposition party.

At the beginning of this year, it entered into a short-lived alliance with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Party sources said senior Vasava (75), who was previously with the United States Janata Dal, is unlikely to participate in the polls this time due to his ill health.

From Dediapada, the party has drafted BTP member Bahadursinh Vasava.

The other candidates are Ravjibhai Pandor (Khedbrahma), Narendra Rathva (Pavijetpur), Nitin Vasava (Nakleshwar) and Subhash Vasava (Mangrol).

With the exception of Ankleshwar, all other five Assembly seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.

The party had announced its first list of 12 candidates on Sunday, nine of which came from ST-reserved seats.

Apart from Bhiloda, Jhalod, Dahod, Sankheda, Nandod, Vyara, Nizar, Dang and Dharampur, all reserved for tribal candidates, the party had announced candidates in unreserved seats from Karjan, Jambusar and Olpad.

BTP President Mahesh Vasava said his party will field candidates in all 27 Assembly seats reserved for ST candidates and will also contest constituencies that have sizable tribal populations.

Gujarat has an assembly of 182 members.

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