Miffed BTP threatens to cut ties with Cong. in Rajasthan

It was upset with Congress zila parishad members joining hands with BJP to defeat its zila pramukh candidate in Dungarpur

Upset with the Congress zila parishad members joining hands with the BJP to defeat its zila pramukh candidate in Dungarpur, the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) on Friday threatened to sever its alliance with the ruling party in Rajasthan.

The BTP, with its two MLAs, had extended support to the Congress after the government formation in 2018.

In the recent four-phase panchayat body elections, the BTP-backed Independents won 13 of the 27 seats in the Dungapur Zila Parishad, while the BJP and the Congress won eight and six seats respectively. The Congress and the BJP came together to defeat BTP candidate Parwati Doda and voted for Surya Ahari, a BJP member, who contested as an Independent.

The BTP needed just one vote from the Congress for helping its candidate to reach the majority mark of 14 and get elected as the zila pramukh. The Congress’s failure to support the BTP resulted in the victory of the BJP earlier this week despite the Opposition party winning just eight seats.

Founded in Gujarat

Founded in neighbouring Gujarat by tribal leader Chhotubhai Vasava in 2017, the BTP entered the electoral fray in Rajsthan in 2018 and won two Assembly seats – Chorasi and Sagwara – in Dungarpur district. The nascent party has started wielding considerable influence in the tribal-dominated regions of southern Rajasthan.

As an ally of the Congress, it voted for the Congress’s candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections held in June and backed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot during the political turmoil in July and August. BTP MLAs Rajkumar Roat and Ram Prasad supported the Congress during the confidence vote on the floor of the Assembly.

Mr. Vasava, an MLA from Gujarat’s Jhagadia constituency, said the Congress and BJP were “two sides of the same coin” and alleged that both were trying to finish the regional parties by entering into alliance with them. The BTP would shortly withdraw its support to the Congress government and strengthen itself as an “alternative front” in the State.

BTP State president Velaram Ghogra said a party executive meeting would be held in a couple of days and a formal decision announced for snapping the alliance with the Congress.

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