Mohan Delkar, a seven-time Lok Sabha MP from the Dadra Nagar Haveli constituency reserved for Scheduled Tribes, was the son of Sanjibhai, Congress MP of DNH in 1967. Having been a member of the Youth Congress, younger Delkar stepped into his father’s shoes and became an MP in 1989.
Delkar became popular after he took up the issues of tribals working in different factories in Silvassa, an industrial town. In 1989, he contested and won the Lok Sabha elections from DNH as an independent candidate. In 1991 and 1996 Lok Sabha polls, he contested from Congress ticket and was reelected. Later he left the party and contested election in 1998 on a BJP ticket and won. He later quit the BJP and contested the Lok Sabha elections as independent candidate in 1999.
In 2004, he formed the Bharatiya Navshakti Party and returned to the Lok Sabha as its MP. He again joined the Congress in 2009. He contested from Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and 2014 from the Congress from the same constituency but lost to the BJP’s Natubhai Patel.
In 2009, Delkar lost to Patel of BJP by a margin of 600 votes, while in 2014, he lost the election with a margin of around 6,000 votes. BJP MP Natubhai Patel had earlier worked with Delkar andwas his loyalist for years before he fell out and was given a BJP ticket in 2009.
Delkar was a towering figure in the Union Territory of DNH that was merged with Daman in the south of Gujarat and Diu in the Saurashtra region last year and former Gujarat minister Praful Patel was appointed administrator of the entire UT that was formerly a Portuguese colony.
Culturally and socially though, Daman, Diu and DNH are far apart, as a majority of the population in DNH is tribal,while Daman & Diu mostly have fishermen. Geographically, while Daman& Diu are islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli is in the plains, bordered by the Western Ghats.
Delkar was also associated with several education organisations in Silvassa and was running B.Ed college, B.Sc. Pharmacy, Commerce and Arts college in Silvassa. He gave part of the SSR College that he runs on a one rupee token rent to the local administration, to establish the Namo Medical Education & Research Institute in DNH.
With the support of Delkar, Congress was in power in DNH district panchayat. After leaving Congress, he made an alliance with JD(U), and put his own candidates in the local Silvassa Municipality election and DNH district panchayat election. The alliance won in the district panchayat elections but lost Silvassa municipality.