Chhotubhai Vasava, Janata Dal (United) MLA from Gujarat and the acting President of the Sharad Yadav-led faction of the party, reached a seat confirmation agreement with the Congress party, which has agreed to part with 7 seats for the tribal leader nominees.
As per the agreement Vasava will field six of his candidates from Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), with ‘auto-rickshaw’ as their party symbol, BTP was formed by Chhotu Vasava’s son Mahesh Vasava and one seat will be given to JD(U) leader Anil Bhagat, who will, however, be fighting from Ankleshwar on Congress symbol.
Vasava, after the seat confirmation with Congress, in an interaction with reports said, “We have got six seats from the Congress for the BTP, and one in Ankleshwar on the Congress symbol. Two of the six seats have been promised for the second phase. They are Waghodia and Limkheda. But we have to see how things shape up.”
The other confirmed seats from where Vasava’s candidates are fighting are Waghodia, Limkheda, Mangrol, its candidate being Uttam Vasava and Rajkot (East) from where the candidate would be Karna Maldhari.
Vasava filed his nomination from Jhagadia on Monday as a candidate from the BTP and his son Mahesh Vasava, filed his nomination from Dediapada in Narmada District.
In 2002, Mahesh had won from the same seat as a JD(U) candidate but had lost from the seat in 2007 elections. His direct clash would be with three-time MLA from the seat and the sitting BJP MLA Motisinh Vasava.
Congress has shifted its sitting MLA Indranil Rajyaguru from Rajkot (East) and given the seat to Vasava and nominated Rajyaguru from Rajkot (West) to fight against the incumbent Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Earlier on 28 October, Vasava had declared his parties support for the Congress in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.
Vasava is a close aide to Sharad Yadav, is an old warhorse and has won consecutive Assembly elections in 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2012. He is also credited with ensuring Congress’s Ahmed Patel’s Rajya Sabha win.
Sources said that Congress has agreed support Vasava’s candidates, as his JD(U) faction has a huge influence in Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Tapi and Valsad districts which are predominantly tribal areas.