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BJP’s Bhikhaji Thakor drops out of Sabarkantha Lok Sabha race

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BJP's Bhikhaji Thakor withdraws from Sabarkantha Lok Sabha race

In a surprising turn of events, Bhikhaji Thakor, the BJP’s candidate for the Sabarkantha Lok Sabha seat, has withdrawn from the 2024 election race due to personal reasons. Thakor’s decision was revealed through a social media post, amid increasing controversy surrounding his surname and caste identity.

Thakor was chosen as a replacement for the incumbent Dipsinh Rathod in the BJP’s list of candidates. However, his nomination led to a heated debate over his surname, with viral posts alleging that he had previously used the name ‘Damor’ before adopting ‘Thakor’.

The issue gained traction due to the significant presence of Kshatriya (Thakor) voters in the Sabarkantha constituency, sparking discussions and debates among the electorate. Thakor addressed these concerns at a press conference in Himmatnagar, emphasizing his allegiance to the Thakor community and his involvement with OBC groups within the BJP.

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Despite his efforts to clarify his background, Thakor noted that some voters using the ‘Damor’ surname were being influenced by opposition propaganda. The Thakor community, primarily located in northern and central Gujarat, is recognized as an OBC group under India’s reservation system.

Traditionally engaged in agriculture and land-related activities, Thakors have expanded their presence in various sectors such as politics, business, and education over the years. Thakor’s withdrawal from the election race raises questions about the impact of identity politics and social media controversies on electoral campaigns and outcomes, particularly in communities with entrenched socio-political affiliations.

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