Ambedkar to focus on development issues in poll campaign

PUNE: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) founder Prakash Ambedkar said on Monday that his party would focus on development issues and not “nationalism” or “emotional issues” in the campaign for the forthcoming Maharashtra assembly elections.

“We believe in citizens’ issues and will focus our election campaign on it instead of un-important and emotional issues which the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena want to project,” said Ambedkar at a press conference here on Monday.

He also screened a video on the drought in parts of Maharashtra and said this video would be a part of his poll campaign highlighting his solutions to the crisis. Water from dams in Pune and Konkan being used exclusively for generating hydropower would be utilised for the benefit of the drought-hit people in the Marathwada and other regions, he said. A blueprint has also been prepared for solving the water scarcity crisis in the state, he said.

“My party is going to contest all the 288 seats,” Ambedkar said, expressing confidence that he would execute the scheme once elected. If the party sits in the opposition, it will exert pressure on the government to execute the scheme, he said.

Stressing that the VBA does not believe in favouring particular castes, he said unemployment would also be a campaign issue.

Party workers said that Ambedkar plans to screen videos on various issues facing the state in his public meetings, as was done by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray during the Lok Sabha campaign.

Doors for alliance with AIMIM not closed

The Vanchit Vikas Aghadi is still open to the idea of an alliance with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi, Prakash Ambedkar said, adding that the onus for resuming the talks is with the AIMIM. He said that the VBA believes that all political parties who believe in the Indian constitution are secular “and we consider the AIMIM to be a secular party.”

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