The much-hyped alliance between the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has gone kaput ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls later this year. BTP founder and MLA Chhotubhai Vasava said, “The doors are closed for the alliance and now our party will look for other options.”
“AAP wanted some of our BTP candidates for their party in the upcoming elections,” Chhotubhai claimed. The alliance entered rocky waters when the AAP started asserting itself in BTP’s traditional tribal bastion. BTP leaders said that the cracks began appearing between the two parties from their first joint rally held in Chanderiya in Bharuch on May 1 this year. The BTP is especially miffed since the AAP has fielded candidates from at least five seats that the former had openly sought as part of seat-sharing.
After calling off the alliance, Chhotubhai shared the stage with BJP and Congress leaders at Dedipada in Narmada where an event was held to unveil the statue of tribal leader Birsa Munda. Congress MLA PD Vasava, Narmada district panchayat president and BJP leader Paryusha Vasava, ex-BJP MLA Motilal Vasava, and rebel AAP leader Niranjan Vasava were present at the event. Chhotubhai reiterated that the BTP had “moved on” from the AAP.
On the occasion, BTP President Mahesh Vasava—Chhotubhai’s son—said that if the state government can spend Rs 3,000 crore for the Statue of Unity, they should also agree to more statues of Birsa Munda to inspire Tribal communities.
The Tribal party claims to be ready to contest all 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat. Sources say that the top brass had a closed-door meeting with the Congress giving rise to speculations that the BTP will form an alliance with the Grand Old Party for the upcoming elections.
Incidentally, the BTP had started its political innings with a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls. Following the 2020 Rajya Sabha elections, the BTP snapped ties with the Congress.