Parties Cash In On Vasava Power As Bharuch Poll Battleground Heats Up For May 7 - Vibes Of India

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Parties Cash In On Vasava Power As Bharuch Poll Battleground Heats Up For May 7

| Updated: May 6, 2024 11:39

The Vasavas have dominated the electoral politics in Gujarat’s Bharuch seat for over a decade. This time it is no surprise that three Vasavas are pitted against each other on this seat as Bharuch goes to vote on May 7.

The BJP, AAP, and Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP) have nominated candidates from the tribal Vasava community. While the BJP has re-nominated six-term MP Mansukh Vasava, the AAP has fielded Chaitar Vasava, an MLA from Dediapada Assembly constituency.

This time, veteran tribal leader and seven-term MLA Chhotu Vasava has also thrown his hat into the ring by fielding his younger son Dilip Vasava, intensifying the competition.

In the Bharuch seat, which constitutes over 6 lakh tribal voters, family dynamics and legacy play a significant role rather than the choice of political parties.

Since 1989, the BJP has continuously fielded tribal candidates here, and it has paid them rich dividends. In fact, from 1989 to 2019, every Lok Sabha election or by-election held on this seat was won by the BJP.

While the BJP’s Mansukh Vasava has been winning the seat since 1998, the entry of Chhotu Vasava has queered the pitch this time.

Chhotu Vasava, a seven-term MLA from Gujarat’s Jhagadia seat, was with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) before severing ties with the party in 2017 after it formed an alliance with the BJP. Vasava was associated with the Janata Dal for 27 years.

Vasava then went on to form his Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which was helmed by his elder son Mahesh Vasava. However, the BTP split after Chhotu Vasava’s younger son Dilip quit amid differences with his brother and formed a breakaway faction, Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP), with Kantilal Roat.

Chhotu Vasava joined the BAP in March as its national convenor, while Mahesh Vasava was inducted by the BJP. Despite being a new party, the BAP tasted electoral success in the 2023 Assembly polls. The party has three MLAs in Rajasthan and one legislator in Madhya Pradesh.

AAP’s Chaitar Vasava was previously with the BTP before he switched over to the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. Being a local, Chaitra enjoys popularity in Bharuch.

In the run-up to the polls, the top parties have been trying to woo the tribal voters in Gujarat.

The AAP has already gained a foothold in the tribal region after it won the Dediapada (ST) assembly seat in the 2022 Gujarat Assembly polls. Dediapada falls under the Bharuch Lok Sabha segment.

The Congress has also renewed its focus on the tribal community. Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra touched tribal-dominated areas under Bharuch Lok Sabha seat.

“There are many unresolved issues concerning tribals. If you combine the votes polled by Congress and AAP in the 2022 assembly elections, we were ahead of BJP in 59 seats,” Anant Patel, who heads the Gujarat Congress’s tribal cell said.

As Bharuch gears up for election in the third phase of the Lok Sabha polls, the spotlight is firmly on the Vasava vs Vasava vs Vasava contest.

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