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‘Won’t Get Free Medical Treatment If I Resign’: BJP MP Mansukh Vasava's U-Turn Day After Quitting

File photo of Mansukh Vasava

File photo of Mansukh Vasava

Mansukh Vasava dropped the idea of quitting the party following talks with its senior leaders

Bharuch: BJP MP from Gujarat and former Union minister Mansukh Vasava, who resigned from the party a day earlier and said he would also quit as a Member of Parliament, took back his resignation on Wednesday.

Vasava dropped the idea of quitting the party following talks with its senior leaders.

Talking to reporters after meeting Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar on Wednesday morning, he said, "Senior party leaders told me that I will get free treatment for my back pain and neck pain only if I continue to be an MP. This is not possible if I resign as an MP. Party leaders asked me to take rest and assured that a system will be put in place wherein local party workers will do work on my behalf."

"The only reason why I had decided to resign from the party and as an MP was my health issues. I also discussed the same with the CM today. Now, after getting assurance from the senior BJP leaders, I have decided to withdraw my resignation.I will continue to serve my people as an MP," PTI quoted Vasava as saying.

The tribal leader claimed that it was a misconception that he was upset with the government or the ruling BJP over some issues pertaining to tribals of Narmada district, particularly about the inclusion of 121 villages in the Eco Sensitive Zone. "The governments in the state and at the Centre are putting all their efforts into resolving the issues related to the Eco Sensitive Zone. I have no issues with the party or the government. On the contrary, I firmly believe that tribals benefited more under the BJP rule than under any previous governments," he said.

The MP had on Wednesday denied that he was quitting over the Union government's decision to declare an Eco Sensitive Zone in his constituency. But in his resignation letter dated December 28 to Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil, Vasava, an outspoken tribal leader, said he tried his best to be loyal to the party and assimilate its values, but still he was prone to committing mistakes.

"I am ultimately human and humans tend to commit mistakes. To ensure that the party does not suffer due to my mistakes, I hereby resign from the party, and I seek forgiveness from the party for it," he wrote. "I will meet the Lok Sabha speaker during the upcoming Budget session of the Parliament and tender my resignation as an MP," the letter further said.

Speaking to reporters, Vasava shied away from explaining what he meant by "mistakes". "I am having no issues at all with the BJP or the government. The only thing is that I remain unwell most of the time and the doctors have advised me to take rest now.

"Though I am an MP, I could not travel much and be with my people due to this back pain, which has now started affecting the functioning of my brain," he said. "I am not irreplaceable. A mid-term election can always be announced. I must not continue as MP if I can not remain in contact with my people. My decision has nothing to do with the Eco Sensitive Zone (issue). I am confident that it will be resolved soon by the government," he said.

Paatil said Vasava was a sensitive person, someone who fights for the people of his constituency. "He is unhappy over some issues and I had a discussion about it with the Chief Minister this morning too," the state BJP chief told reporters.

"The main issue is the declaration of Eco Sensitive Zone by the Centre in his constituency. It appears that some people are misguiding locals over the issue after the Collector had made some entries about land parcels. We are trying to convince Vasava and I am confident that a solution will be found soon," Paatil said. Vasava, the BJP's only prominent face in the tribal belt of Bharuch and Narmada districts, has been winning his Lok Sabha seat since 1998.

He was inducted as Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014. However, he was abruptly dropped in July 2016. On December 20, he had dashed off a letter to Modi demanding withdrawal of the Eco Sensitive Zone from 121 villages of Narmada district.

Local tribals were angry because of "unnecessary interference" by officials after these tribal-dominated villages were included in the Eco Sensitive Zone, he said. A year ago, Vasava had openly targeted senior IAS officer Rajiv Kumar Gupta after the Statue of Unity administration under Gupta removed stalls of local tribals on a road near the grand monument.

first published:December 30, 2020, 14:47 IST