AMID TALKS of Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena joining hands with Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Agahdi (VBA), the latter on Monday said that Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are not inclined to accept his party in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).
“We (Ambedkar and Thackeray) have met in the past, though we did not meet today (Monday). VBA has already said that we are ready to ally with the Sena. But Thackeray will have to talk with Congress and the NCP on making us the fourth member of the MVA. And according to me, both these parties do not seem inclined on accepting us,” he said, while speaking to The Indian Express.
Ambedkar said that he has given the offer to ally with the Sena and the ball is now in the MVA’s court. “Let the Congress and the NCP take a final call on this,” he said.
Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, had formed VBA prior to 2019 Lok Sabha elections. VBA candidates polled considerable votes in both general as well as assembly elections harming prospects of Congress and NCP candidates in many seats, leading to many leaders of these parties accusing the VBA of splitting anti-BJP votes.
When asked about his alliance with Ambedkar, Thackeray said that both have discussed many issues. “But before forming an alliance, there are many points that need to be clarified. We do not have big issues, but few will be sorted out soon and then we can talk about it,” he said.
The Shiv Sena under its founder late Bal Thackeray have always had tumultuous history with Dalit organisations especially at the times of Dalit Panther and later during the name change movement of Marathwada University after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. However in the last years of his life, he took an initiative by joining hands with Republican Party of India (RPI) (Athawale) leader Ramdas Athawale, giving rise to the term Shivshakti-Bhimshakti. It however did not sustain for long.
Two weeks back, both Ambedkar and Thackeray shared a stage at the relaunch of a website on the works of Prabodhankar Thackeray, grandfather of Uddhav. Since then, talks about both joining hands were being discussed.