Kejriwal accuses BJP of being 'anti-tribal'

05:06 PM Jan 07, 2024 | PTI |

Bharuch: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday accused the BJP of being against the tribals and claimed that Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat MLA Chaitar Vasava was arrested last month as he fought for the tribal community’s rights.


Addressing a public rally at Netrang in Gujarat’s Bharuch district along with his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann, Kejriwal also said Vasava will be the AAP’s candidate from Bharuch Lok Sabha seat in the general elections due in a few months.

Vasava, the MLA from Dediapada and AAP’s state working president, 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.

Kejriwal claimed tribal leader Vasava was lured with crores of rupees and a ministerial post in the government if he switched over to the BJP, which the AAP MLA refused because he cannot betray his own community.


The BJP was scared of Vasava and ”trying to suppress him to send out a message to the community that if anyone tries to raise voice against it, he will be crushed,” he further claimed while expressing his support for the AAP MLA.

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

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

Kejriwal further claimed the BJP was ”worse than daakus (dacoits)” for not even sparing Vasava’s wife from arrest. In Delhi, the AAP has refurbished all government hospitals, and in Gujarat they (BJP) are privatising civil hospitals, he said.

”Lakhs and crores are being allocated for the adivasi community from the central and state governments. Where does the money go? They steal all the money,” Kejriwal alleged.

He said Vasava also fought with police and raised voice over the condition of schools in the region.

”I would like to tell the BJP that Chaitar Vasava will emerge to finish you off,” he said.

Kejriwal said Vasava will be AAP’s candidate for the Lok Sabha election from Bharuch and the party will do its best to secure his and his wife’s release from jail. If he is not released before the election, then the people should be ready to fight on his behalf, he added.

The Delhi CM said he along with Mann and state AAP leaders will meet Vasava in Rajpipla jail on Monday. ”This is not a fight for Chaitar Vasava, but for the honour of the entire adivasi community,” he said.

If the tribals remains silent today, the BJP will get emboldened and the community’s youth will be suppressed like Vasava, he claimed. Vasava is one of the five MLAs of the AAP elected in the 2022 Gujarat assembly elections. One of them, Bhupendra Bhayani, who represented Visavadar constituency, resigned on December 12, 2023.


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