Ambedkar will not win any seat: Athawale

RPI(A) leader expresses confidence over BJP-Sena’s victory

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said Prakash Ambedkar may win some votes but will not get elected in the general elections from any of the seats he is contesting.

“I have full confidence that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will be successful yet again, and come to power. The internal conflict in the Congress-NCP combine will help the BJP-Sena win,” Mr. Athawale told reporters at Chaityabhoomi in Dadar on the occasion of 128th birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Mr. Ambedkar is the grandson of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and has allied with Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM to form Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, which is contesting all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

Mr. Ambedkar is himself contesting two seats: Akola and Solapur (SC). Mr. Athawale is the president of the Republican Party of India (Athawale) and is in alliance with the BJP-Sena.

The RPI(A) leader was accompanied to Chaityabhoomi by Sena candidate and sitting MP from Mumbai South Central, Rahul Shewale.

Mr. Shewale reiterated that he is committed to constructing the memorial for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar at Indu Mill, and it will be completed soon.

Earlier, Mr. Athawale had announced that he would contest from Mumbai South Central, but backed down after the alliance between the BJP and the Sena was finalised. “I am ready to give up on this seat if people do not find me eligible. I will work to contribute towards their welfare. Leaders might be fighting during elections, but when it comes to the welfare of society, everybody stands together,” he said.

Candidates across party lines on Sunday paid their respect to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. People had come from various parts of India to pay obeisance.

Stalls were put up selling flags, photographs, miniature statues, and books. There was also a photography exhibition showcasing black and white pictures of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

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