Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Setback to Congress ahead of Gujarat polls; 10-time MLA Mohansinh Rathwa joins BJP

In a major blow to the Congress ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat, its senior leader and MLA Mohansinh Rathwa quit the party along with his sons Ranjitsinh and Raju Rathwa, and joined the BJP on Tuesday.

The sitting MLA, who has won the elections in 10 out of 11 occasions he fought, said that he has nothing against any party. “It is only that the future generation has decided to join the BJP,” Rathwa remarked.

The 78-year-old leader was a member of the grand old party for over 50 years and holds sway over the tribal belt of Gujarat, particularly the Chhota Udaipur region near Vadodara.

Rathwa had already announced that he would not contest the elections and had requested the Congress to give ticket to one of his sons.

Congress Rajya Sabha member Naran Rathwa, whose term is expiring in 2024, had also requested the party to give ticket to his son. Naran is believed to have told the leadership that the ticket should not go to one family (Mohansinh’s) for so many years and others should also be given a chance.

Sources said that in the event of Naran’s son Sangram joining the BJP and the party giving him a ticket, a win for him would be easy. Considering this, it appears that Mohansinh decided to secure a ticket for his son for the upcoming election, they said.

Mohansinh, Naran and Sukhram Rathwa (incumbent opposition leader in the state assembly) are known as a “Rathwa triputi” (Rathwa trio).

Interestingly, Sukhram’s daughter is married to Mohansinh’s son Raju.

The grapevine is that Sukhram is likely to be under pressure to join the BJP.

There is a buzz in the political circles that since the BJP is trying to make inroads into the tribal belt, where the Congress has a strong hold, it will try to woo more tribal leaders into its fold.

In Gujarat, out of 182 seats, 27 are reserved for tribals.

The tribal belt stretches from Ambaji in North Gujarat to Umargaon in South Gujarat.


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