Poll officials reject Mahesh Vasava’s complaint on BJP candidate’s caste

Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) founder Mahesh Vasava, contesting on party ticket from Jhagadia seat in Bharuch, on Tuesday complained to the returning officer against BJP candidate Vasava Riteshbhai allegedly declaring wrong caste and demanded rejection of his nomination.

However, election officer DS Baraiya rejected Mahesh Vasava’s plea saying Riteshkumar Ramanlal Vasava’s candidature from Jhagadia has been accepted.

In the letter, which was shared on social media, Mahesh Vasava said that BJP candidate Riteshbhai Ramanbhai Vasava, mentioned his name as Patel Riteshkumar Ramanlal in the caste certificate issued by Jhagadia mamlatdar dated August 31, 2009. In the certificate, he had mentioned his caste as Hindu Bhil.

Mahesh Vasava added that in the school certificate of Riteshbhai’s father Patel Ramanlal Chhotalal, the caste was mentioned as Desi Christian (tribal converted to Christian). Vasava questioned how can the son of a Desi Christian, that falls under Bakshipanch category, be a Hindu Bhil.

Demanding criminal action against Ritesh Patel, Mahesh requested cancellation of his nomination from Jhagadia seat. He also submitted caste certificates of both father and son to the returning officer.

In his affidavit submitted while filing the nomination, in the income tax section, the BJP candidate has mentioned his name as Riteshbhai Ramanbhai Vasava, his wife as Parulben Riteshbhai Patel and his children as Ronakumar Riteshbhai Patel and Priyenkumar Riteshkumar Patel.

In the movable and immovable assets section, he had mentioned name as Riteshbhai Ramanbhai Vasava, his wife’s name as Parulben Riteshkumar Vasava, sons Ronakkumar Riteshbhai Vasava and Priyenkumar Riteshbhai Vasava.

In the candidature affidavit, he had also submitted oath document, mentioning that on electoral identity card, his name is Vasava Riteshkumar Ramanlal, while on ration card his name is Patel Riteshbhai Ramanbhai. On caste certificate his name is Patel Riteshkumar Ramanlal.

“I have different names on different government documents and all are genuine,” Ritesh told The Indian Express, adding, “We fall into Hindu Bhil community as a result of which, I am entitled to contest on ST (Schedule Tribe seat). The allegations made by Mahesh Vasava is baseless.”

Election officials and Mahesh Vasava were not available for their comments.

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