BJP’s Bhikhaji Thakor withdraws from Sabarkantha Lok Sabha race

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Gandhinagar, March 23 (IANS) Bhikhaji Thakor, the BJP’s newly-announced candidate for the Sabarkantha Lok Sabha seat, has opted out of the 2024 election race, citing personal reasons. His withdrawal was announced via a social media post.

His withdrawal comes in the wake of the growing controversy over his surname and caste identity.

The BJP had recently replaced its two-term representative Dipsinh Rathod with Bhikhaji Thakor in its second list of candidates.

However, Thakor’s nomination sparked a dispute over his surname, with viral social media posts alleging that he had previously used the surname ‘Damor’ before switching to ‘Thakor’.

This issue became contentious given the number of Kshatriya (Thakor) voters in the Sabarkantha constituency, with intensifying debates and discussions among the electorate.

Eventually, Thakor addressed these controversies at a press conference in Himmatnagar’s Circuit House, affirming his Thakor community credentials.

He highlighted his extensive involvement with the Other Backward Classes (OBC) front of the BJP and various state-level social organisations.

Thakor also pointed out that a substantial segment of voters in the region, who use the surname ‘Damor’, are being influenced by what he termed as Opposition propaganda.

The Thakor caste in Gujarat is a community predominantly found in the northern and central regions of the state.

India’s reservation system classifies them under the OBC category.

The Thakor community is mainly involved in agriculture and land-related occupations, but over time, many have diversified into various other sectors, including politics, business, and education.



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