He had expressed apprehension and concern that the tribal population of the district would lose employment opportunities due to the notification.
His resignation is likely to adversely affect BJP’s fortunes in the upcoming local body polls in the tribal belt, where Chhotu Vasava’s Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) and AIMIM have already struck an alliance. In his letter to Gujarat party chief CR Paatil, Vasava wrote, “I thank the BJP high command and the party for giving me all that I could handle. I have been loyal to the party always. I am a human being and mistakes happen. I have resigned from the party so my mistake does not harm it. I beg that the party forgives me and I will meet the Speaker in person during the budget session and resign from Lok Sabha.”
“I have been a BJP MP for six terms. I’m not upset with the party or the government, but I am suffering from a severe pain in my back for some time and am unable to travel,” he said on Tuesday, adding that it is because of his ailment that he has not been able to attend Parliament sessions.
Vasava often took stands that put the state government in awkward situations. He had publicly opposed acquisition of land around the Statue of Unity, evicting small shopkeepers along the Kevadiya main road and even the declaring of the area around the statue an eco-sensitive zone. He had also raised the issue of bogus tribal certificates which people had been using to secure admission and government jobs.
Many office bearers, including the president, secretary and 27 other members of BJP’s Sagbara unit in Narmada, have resigned in his support. Party chief Paatil refused to confirm the news and said, “Mansukhbhai has not resigned. He said he will resign during budget session in Delhi.”