A week after the Congress renewed its efforts to get Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) on board in an alliance for the assembly polls, Prakash Ambedkar on Friday asked the Congress and NCP to first clear their accusation that he and his party were the ‘B team of BJP’ during the Lok Sabha elections.
“Congress-NCP called us the B team of BJP during the Lok Sabha campaigning. So, they should first clarify what is our status now. The discussion on the alliance can happen only after that,” said Ambedkar in response to a question during a media interaction.
Finishing with an overall vote share of about eight per cent in the state, the VBA, an alliance led by Ambedkar and Asaduddin Owaisi of the AIMIM, played a decisive role in the defeat of Congress-NCP candidates in at least seven seats. It polled over 41.3 lakh votes across 48 seats.
Earlier, in the run-up to the poll campaign, the Congress and the NCP had reached out to Ambedkar to join their coalition, but seat-sharing talks failed between the two sides. After the Congress-NCP got crushed in the Lok Sabha polls, the parties have decided once again to open the door for negotiations. “We are open to talks with him. He should be willing as well,” said state Congress president Ashok Chavan last week.
Ambedkar also alleged there was a discrepancy in the number of votes polled and number votes counted in all 48 LS seats in state. “While additional votes were polled in 22 Lok Sabha seats, less votes were polled in 22 seats. Election Commission should explain this difference. These discrepancies point out that EVMs are not foolproof and there are chances of foul play,” said Ambedkar.
He further appealed all the political parties in different states to carry on the same exercise and file election petitions in case of discrepancies. We are filing election petitions for all 48 LS seats, said Ambedkar, demanding that ballot paper be brought back once again.