Vasava, the leader of Gujarat BTP, criticises the AAP for its association with topiwallas


Ahmedabad: On Monday, the Gujarati Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which has been allied with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) since May, announced the dissolution of the four-month-old alliance. The BTP stated that it would no longer work with any group that wore saffron or white caps.

We don’t want to be associated with any topiwalla, whether they wear saffron hats or white hats with a broom sign since the situation in the country is bad. All of them are the same. The difficulties facing tribal people have been disregarded by all parties in this country of paghadis (turbans), according to BTP founder Chhotu Vasava.

The coalition was declared on May 1 at a “Adivasi Sankalp Mahasammelan” that Kejriwal, Chhotu Vasava, and Mahesh Vasava jointly addressed in Bharuch’s Chanderiya hamlet.

But shortly after, things seemed to go south for the two coalition allies.

The BTP declared on August 31 that it would run for all 182 seats in the state elections anticipated to take place in December of this year. The AAP continues to designate candidates for tribal seats in its third list of candidates, which was released last week: Arvind Gamit for Nizar in the Tapi district, Bipin Gameti for Khedbrahma in Sabarkantha, and Praful Vasava for Nandod in the Narmada region.

Vasava claimed that he was unconcerned about the consequences of his choice. “Candidates for Prime Minister of this country are reluctant to discuss labourers and their problems. No of the outcome, we won’t team up with these topiwallas, he told HT.

In 2017, a month before the assembly election, Vasava, a former tribal leader with the Janata Dal (United), founded the BTP. In an alliance with the Congress, he won two of the five seats the party ran for. Vasava is from the Bharuch district’s Jhagadia constituency, and Mahesh Vasava, the party’s national president, is from Dediapada in the Narmada district.

“We have been fighting alone and will do so in the future. The Congress only discussed an alliance with us in 2017; nevertheless, in the end, they ran candidates against us, according to Vasava.

Leaders of the AAP claimed that they were unaware of Vasava’s decision and that they could not see any cause for the BTP to leave the alliance.

In response to BTP’s decision to terminate the alliance, Arjun Rathva, an AAP candidate for the Chhota Udaipur seat, stated, “We haven’t received any communication from BTP on that matter.” In the first list of the first ten candidates, his name was mentioned.

Rathva claimed that at all discussions with Chhotu Vasava and his son, Mahesh, the two groups were in agreement on all tribal matters.

Even the tribal ‘assurance,’ which Kejriwalji had previously announced, was resolved following negotiations with them. In the past, BTP has provided us with a list of probable candidates for each of Gujarat’s 27 tribal-reserved seats; but, when we requested them for more information, such as the constituency each candidate will represent and their likelihood of winning, we received no response. The choice Chottubhai made is really regrettable, Rathva continued.