Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar on Friday declared candidates for 39 of the 48 seats in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state.
He also finally ruled out any alliance with the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine.
For the remaining seats, Ambedkar said, “In the next four days, suspense over these seats would be over”. He blamed the Congress for its failure to tie up with the VBA and said now the fight is between the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and the VBA.
Ambedkar said it was a rumour spread by the Congress-NCP that he was splitting their votes to benefit the ruling parties. “I am in fact damaging the BJP-Sena and they will face my wrath. The Congress-NCP has already conceded defeat, which was very evident when Sharad Pawar decided not to contest the polls,” said Ambedkar.
He said that VBA will not field any candidate in Aurangabad as it has decided to support retired Bombay HC judge BG Kolse Patil, who is contesting from Janata Dal (Secular) party. “This is being done at the instance of HD Deve Gowda (former PM),” said Ambedkar. He said if the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) wants to contest the polls from this seat, its chief Asaduddin Owaisi should talk to Deve Gowda and solve the tangle. “Currently, our deal is that AIMIM will not contest the Lok Sabha elections, but will get as many seats they want in the Assembly polls,” said Ambedkar.
The Congress-NCP wanted to ally to avoid split in votes of Dalits and Muslims, who are their traditional voters.
Ambedkar had initially demanded 12 seats, but this was turned down by the combine who were ready to part with just two. Ambedkar’s partnership with the AIMIM was also opposed by the Congress as the party described it as a communal outfit. The Congress asked Ambedkar to snap its ties with AIMIM, which Ambedkar refused. After that, Ambedkar, who had given the Congress-NCP a deadline of February 28, announced that he will contest all 48 seats in the state.
Mar 16, 2019 04:20 IST
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