Gujarat 2017

Bharatiya Tribal Party opens account in Gujarat

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New party wins two seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls

The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), less than a month old, has managed to win two seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls. The BTP might be a new kid on the block but its founder, Chhotubhai Vasava, is a well-known tribal leader.

Formerly associated with JD(U), Mr. Vasava floated the BTP in the last week of November and entered a pre-poll alliance with Congress. The JD(U) expelled Mr. Vasava after he voted for Gujarat veteran Ahmed Patel during the Rajya Sabha elections in August, despite his party pledging its support to the BJP.

Hours before the Rajya Sabha polls, Mr. Vasava had told The Hindu he was undecided because "party leader Nitish Kumar had asked him to vote for the BJP candidate while Sharad Yadav had told him to back Mr. Patel.” When the results were out, it was clear that he chose to listen to Mr. Yadav. He continued to stay with Mr. Yadav when the JD(U) was heading for a split.

When Mr. Yadav lost the party symbol to Mr. Kumar, Mr. Vasava decided to start a party of his own. His party contested in three constituencies. While Mr. Vasava was re-elected from tribal district of Jhagadia, his son Mahesh won from Dediapada.

The JD(U), in fact, fielded a Chhotubhai Vasava from Jhagadia. But the BTP's Vasava is more famous in the constituency than the 'arrow' symbol. The JD(U)'s Vasava could manage to secure only 5055 votes, 309 votes lesser than None of the Above Option.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 11:09:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/gujarat-2017/bharatiya-tribal-party-opens-account-in-gujarat/article21839930.ece

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