AAP to field jailed MLA and tribal leader Vasava from Bharuch Lok Sabha seat

Kejriwal makes the announcement in Gujarat; first-time legislator Vasava enjoys strong support among tribals

Updated - January 10, 2024 11:35 am IST

Published - January 07, 2024 10:45 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

Chaitar Vasava with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. File photo: X/@Chaitar_Vasava

Chaitar Vasava with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal. File photo: X/@Chaitar_Vasava

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal announced on January 7 that party legislator Chaitar Vasava, who is in jail after his arrest in a criminal case, will contest from the Bharuch Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming general election. 

Mr. Vasava, a tribal leader, is one of the five AAP legislators who won the Assembly election in Gujarat in 2022. 

On Sunday, Mr. Kejriwal came to Netrang in Bharuch to address a rally of tribal supporters of Mr. Vasava, a first-time legislator who enjoys strong support among the tribals in the region. 

Mr. Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann would be visiting Mr. Vasava in jail on Monday. 

‘BJP against tribals’

Addressing the rally, the Delhi CM accused the BJP of working against the tribals and said Mr. Vasava was arrested last month as he fought for the rights of the community. 

Mr. Vasava was arrested on December 14, 2023, after he surrendered in a case of allegedly threatening forest officers and firing in the air while trying to resolve an issue pertaining to cultivation of forest land by local tribals in Narmada district. His wife was also arrested in the case. 

Mr. Kejriwal told the gathering that the BJP government in Gujarat had tried its best to lure Mr. Vasava with money and a ministerial post in the government if he switched over to the BJP, but he refused and hence was targeted with a “false case”. 

The BJP was scared of Mr. Vasava and was “trying to suppress him to send out a message to the community that if anyone tries to raise voice against the party, he will be crushed,” he said.

“The BJP has been in power in Gujarat since the last 30 years, then why didn’t it do anything for the Adivasi community? Chaitar Vasava raised his voice for them because the BJP failed to do anything for them,” he said.

“The BJP is against the tribal community. It hates the tribals. Give it another 30 years and it will destroy the tribals,” the AAP’s national convener alleged.

He added that the BJP was “worse than dacoits” because it did not even spare Mr. Vasava’s wife from arrest in a “bogus case”. 

He talked about Mr. Vasava’s fight for better schools and hospitals in tribal areas of Bharuch and Narmada districts where the BJP completely failed to provide them. 

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