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Chhotu Vasava forms new outfit after son joins BJP; to announce Lok Sabha poll plans soon

NEW DELHI: Prominent tribal leader from Gujarat, Chhotu Vasava, has said he has formed a new organisation to fight for the rights of the country’s tribal population, days after his son and president of the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BTP founder said on Wednesday that his new organisation, the Bharat Adivasi Samvidhan Sena (BASS), was a social and not a political outfit, and added that he would soon announce under which banner he planned to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In a veiled attack on his son Mahesh Vasava for joining the BJP, he said the community will never forgive those who have betrayed it for the greed of money and power. Talking to PTI, Vasava’s aide Ambalal Jadhav said members of the Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP), founded last year in Rajasthan where it won three seats and one in Madhya Pradesh in the 2023 assembly elections, will meet Vasava on Friday to chart the next course of action for the parliamentary polls.

”Four MLAs (three from Rajasthan and one from MP) are among the members of the BAP who will meet Chhotu Vasava on Friday. We will also decide on contesting the elections,” he said.

Vasava’s younger son Dilip Vasava is the national vice president of the BAP.

The BTP, which was founded by Vasava and led by his elder son Mahesh Vasava as its president, merged with the BJP after the latter joined the ruling party on March 11.

Chhotu Vasava, who had contested the Lok Sabha elections from Bharuch seat in 2004 and 2009 as a Janata Dal (United) candidate, and in 2014 as a BTP candidate, said his new outfit BASS has been formed to safeguard the interest of the tribal population to counter the forces working against them.

”This Bharatiya Adivasi Sena is a social and not a political organisation, and will announce in a few days under which banner I will contest the Lok Sabha election,” he posted on X Wednesday.

He said he will soon spread the organisation pan-India.

Vasava had founded the BTP ahead of the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections when the JD(U) allied with the BJP. The party won two seats that time: Chhotu Vasava from Jhagadia and his son Mahesh from Dediapada.

In 2022, he fought as an independent from Jhagadia after differences with his son, but lost to BJP’s Ritesh Vasava.

On March 20, he announced the formation of the BASS at Jhagadia in Bharuch district after offering tributes to tribal leader and member of constituent assembly Jaipal Singh Munda on his death anniversary.

His announcement came days after his son and the then BTP president Mahesh Vasava joined the ruling BJP on March 11.

”On the 54th death anniversary of Jaipal Singh Munda, we have formed BASS. There is a need for an organisation like this because external and internal forces are bent on looting tribals. The organisation is ready to fight and stop communal forces… We will slowly take this pan-India,” he told media persons.

Describing the Constitution as his ”religion”, Vasava said he would carry on his fight under its banner for the rights of the tribal population and against the looting of their land and natural resources.

Before making this announcement, Vasava posted on X that the community ”will never forgive those who have betrayed it for the greed of money and power”, a reference to his son joining the BJP.

He said those who raised the voice of the tribals and fought against the BJP ended up joining up the very same party ”for greed of power and money” and the community will never pardon them.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

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