Of all the 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly that will go to poll next month, the Jhagadia seat promises the most spectacular fight.
Chhotubhai Vasava, the incumbent MLA from this tribal-dominated seat in central Gujarat was a member of the JD(U) from 1990 to 2017, before setting up the Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), less than a month before the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly election. An ardent advocate of Bhilistan—a separate state comprising tribal-dominated parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra—Chhotubhai has held the Jhagadia assembly seat seven times.
However, the family feud within the Vasava family might spring a surprise this time around. Chhotubhai’s son Mahesh Vasava, doing an Akhilesh Yadav, hijacked the party and declared himself the official candidate from the Jhagadia constituency. He is the current MLA on a BTP ticket from Dediapada constituency. His shifting to Jhagadia would pit him against his own father and the 77-year-old party patriarch, who will contest as an independent.
In the 2017 assembly elections, Chhotubhai received 1,13,854 votes, 60.18 percent of the total 1,89,179 votes polled, which was 81.44 percent of all registered voters in the constituency.
Educated till the level of OLD-SSC, Chhotubhai has 16 complaints registered against him at Jhagadia police station and nine at Walia police station. He owns 57 acres of agricultural land, 10 tola gold and two tractors, totalling Rs 1.75 crore in assets. On the hand, 55-year-old Mahesh has 25 police cases against him. He and his wife own immovable and movable properties worth ₹2.15 lakh including a Fortuner, an Innova car, and three JCBs. He has a bank loan of 89.42 lakh.
BJP has fielded Ritesh Vasava in this seat, while the Congress is going ahead with Fatesinh Vasava.