Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder and MLA Chhotu Vasava announced he will contest the upcoming Assembly elections as an independent from Jhagadia from where the party had earlier announced the candidature of his son and BTP President Mahesh Vasava.
Chhotu Vasava, 77, who has consistently represented Jhagdia in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly since 1990 and who has been a key figure in Gujarat’s tribal politics for five decades,
Chotu Vasava, the BTP’s founding patron and MLA with the auto-rickshaw election symbol, was forced to run as an independent after Mahesh Vasava, the party’s national president and a two-term member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, declared his candidacy from Jhagadia.
Vasava served as the head of the Janata Dal (United) Gujarat branch from 1990 to 2017. He advocated for the creation of a separate state called “Bhilistan” made up of tribally dominant regions of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. In 2017, he joined the Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party. Aligned with the JD(U), then left it.
The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which was formed less than a month before the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election, won two assembly seats in coalition with the Indian National Congress. As a BTP MLA, the father-son duo had reached the assembly.
Mahesh Bhai Chhotu Bhai Vasava, the candidate who filed the most criminal cases during the Gujarat elections, won the Dediapada seat by a margin of more than 83,026 votes.
There are 24 criminal charges against Vasava, the Bhartiya Tribal Party’s president, including two murders and one attempted murder. Vasava’s affidavit claims that he was convicted of assaulting a Congress leader in 2009 and given a three-year prison term. A murder case against his father, the tribal chief Chhotubhai Vasava, who has served as a Jhagadia MLA seven times, is still pending. For a very long time, this father-son team has been dominating the battle.
had resigned from the party’s primary membership and other positions last week. Disputes between the father and son developed after Mahesh chose to form an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, according to party sources. Chhotu Vasava ended the alliance when he witnessed the AAP dragging out BTP cadres and leaders. Dilip Vasava, the second son of Chhotu Vasava, has also left the party.
When Chhotu Vasava announced an alliance with JD(U), Mahesh disagreed. Therefore, despite the announcement of the alliance, it could not get off the ground. Although Mahesh Vasava told Vibes of India that “every effort is being made to save the party and the family, some people are fueling the controversy.”