Madhya Pradesh’s Only Non-BJP, Non-Congress MLA Lives In Mud House
Kamleshwar Dodiyar contested as a candidate from the newly formed Bharat Adivasi Party. Bhopal: The richest MLA in the
The richest MLA in the newly elected Madhya Pradesh Assembly has declared assets of Rs 223 crore. Somewhere on the other end of the spectrum is Kamleshwar Dodiyar, who worked as a labourer and tiffin delivery boy to fund his education and lives in a mud house, whose roof leaks when it rains.
Mr Dodiyar overcame all this, and more, and when it came to submitting documents to the Assembly secretariat in Bhopal after his election from the Sailana seat in Ratlam district, he set off on a bike to cover the distance of over 300 km on Wednesday, because he could not arrange a four-wheeler.
The 33-year-old, who contested in the reserved tribal seat under the banner of the fledgling Bharat Adivasi Party – which was formed only in September this year – defeated his nearest rival, Harsh Vijay Gehlot of the Congress, by a margin of 4,618 votes. It was the only seat in the 230-member Assembly that was won by a party other than the BJP or the Congress.
“My party colleagues supported me in the campaign. They campaigned for me on an empty stomach and even spent money from their own pockets. I had to urgently go to the Bhopal Assembly to submit documents. No four-wheeler was available, and so I left on a motorcycle,” the MLA said.
“I am certainly very poor, but I want to do good work for the disadvantaged. I will work honestly and earnestly to ensure the government’s schemes are implemented,” he added.
Mr Dodiyar is from the tribal community and was born in Radha Kua village in the Sailana constituency. He and his family live in a mud house and his mother said she sold eggs in the village and worked as a labourer in Gujarat and Rajasthan to fund his initial education. Mr Dodiyar worked as a labourer himself to complete his Bachelor of Arts, and delivered tiffins in Delhi while pursuing his LLB from Delhi University.
On returning to his village, Mr Dodiyar began doing social work and contested his first election from the Sailana Assembly seat as an independent in 2018. After losing that year, he contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but was defeated again.
After two losses as an Independent, Mr Dodiyar decided to contest as a candidate from the newly formed Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP). In the November 17 elections, he got 71,219 votes against the Congress candidate’s 66,601 and the BJP candidate’s 41,584.
The BAP, which is a Rajasthan-based party and won three seats in that state, was formed by two MLAs, Rajkumar Roat and Ramprasad Dindor, in September after a split in the Bharatiya Tribal party. On its website, the party says it is dedicated to improving the lives of tribal communities and ensuring that they get access to education, healthcare and economic opportunities.
“Bharat Adivasi Party is very concerned about the environment. We pledge to work tirelessly to protect and preserve our natural world. We will support policies that promote clean energy, reduce pollution and protect our precious ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations,” the website states.