In U-turn, BJP MP Vasava says he will withdraw resignation

Ahmedabad: A day after tendering his resignation from the BJP, Lok Sabha member and former Union minister Mansukh Vasava on Wednesday said he has dropped the idea of quitting the party following talks with its senior leaders.

Vasava, a six-time MP from tribal-dominated Bharuch in Gujarat, had on Tuesday said he was quitting the BJP only due to health problems and had no issues with the government or the party.

Talking to reporters after meeting Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar on Wednesday morning, he said, “Senior party leaders told me that I will get free treatment for my back pain and neck pain only if I continue to be an MP. This is not possible if I resign as an MP. Party leaders asked me to take rest and assured that a system will be put in place wherein local party workers will do work on my behalf.”

“The only reason why I had decided to resign from the party and as an MP was my health issues. I also discussed the same with the CM today. Now, after getting assurance from the senior BJP leaders, I have decided to withdraw my resignation.

I will continue to serve my people as an MP,” Vasava said.

The tribal leader claimed that it was a misconception that he was upset with the government or the ruling BJP over some issues pertaining to tribals of Narmada district, particularly about the inclusion of 121 villages in the Eco Sensitive Zone.

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“The governments in the state and at the Centre are putting all their efforts into resolving the issues related to the Eco Sensitive Zone. I have no issues with the party or the government. On the contrary, I firmly believe that tribals benefited more under the BJP rule than under any previous governments,” he said.

On Tuesday, Vasava had resigned from the party and also claimed that he will resign as MP after meeting Lok Sabha Speaker during the upcoming Budget Session of the Parliament.

Vasava had tendered his resignation in the form of a letter to Gujarat BJP President C R Paatil.

In the letter, Vasava, an outspoken and straightforward tribal leader, said although he had tried his best to be loyal to the party and also tried to assimilate the party’s values in his life, he is ultimately a human and prone to commit “mistakes”.

“I am ultimately a human and humans tend to commit mistakes. To ensure that the party does not suffer due to my mistakes, I hereby resign from the party, and I seek forgiveness from the party for it,” he had said in the letter.

Paatil had told reporters on Tuesday that Vasava was particularly unhappy about the declaration of the Eco Sensitive Zone in his constituency.

“The main issue is the declaration of an Eco Sensitive Zone by the Centre in his constituency. Now, it appears that some people are misguiding locals over the issue after the Collector had made some entries about the land parcels. We are trying to convince Vasava and I am confident that a solution will arrive soon,” the state BJP chief had said.

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Vasava was inducted into the Cabinet as the union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014. However, he was abruptly dropped in July 2016.

On December 20, he had dashed off a letter to the PM demanding withdrawal of the Eco Sensitive Zone from 121 villages of Narmada district.

He claimed that local tribals were angry because of the “unnecessary interference” by the officials after those 121 tribal-dominated villages were included in the Eco Sensitive Zone.

Later in the afternoon, Vasava claimed that it was his health, not Eco Sensitive Zone, which forced him to take the decision.

“I am having no issues at all with the BJP or the government. The only thing is that I remain unwell most of the time and the doctors have advised me to take rest now, Though I am an MP, I could not travel much and be with my people due to this back pain, which has now started affecting the functioning of my brain,” Vasava had told reporters on Tuesday.

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