Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder Chhotu Vasava will not contest from his traditional Assembly seat Jhagadia in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, from where he has won seven times in a row, and instead his son will be in the fray from the constituency in the next month’s elections.
As per the second list of six candidates released by the tribal party for the December 1 and 5 elections, Chhotu Vasava’s son Mahesh Vasava has been fielded from Jhagadia.
Mahesh Vasava had won from Dediapada in Narmada district in the 2017 Assembly elections. Before that, he had emerged victorious from the same seat in 2002 (when the BTP was not in existence).
The BTP, which has pockets of influence in adivasi-dominated areas of the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat, won two Assembly seats in 2017 when it fought elections in an alliance with the Congress. However, the regional outfit later severed ties with the main opposition party.
Early this year, it entered into a short-lived alliance with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Party sources said the senior Vasava (75), who was earlier with the Janata Dal (United), is not likely to contest polls this time due to his poor health.
From Dediapada, the party has fielded BTP member Bahadursinh Vasava.
The other candidates are Ravjibhai Pandor (Khedbrahma), Narendra Rathva (Pavijetpur), Nitin Vasava (Nakleshwar) and Subhash Vasava (Mangrol).
Except for Ankleshwar, all the other five Assembly seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates.
The party had announced the first list of 12 candidates on Sunday, of which nine were fielded 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 on non-reserved seats of Karjan, Jambusar and Olpad.
BTP president Mahesh Vasava said his party will field candidates on all the 27 Assembly seats reserved for ST candidates and also contest constituencies which have a sizeable tribal population.
Gujarat has a 182-member Assembly.
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