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Prakash Ambedkar: We’re open to alliance with Congress, but not AIMIM, in local polls

The great-grandson of BR Ambedkar says his Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi will also champion the cause of the Maratha community, whose ‘low-rung, poor members have been neglected for the past six decades’.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: May 16, 2022 4:03:11 pm
Prakash Ambedkar: We're open to alliance with Congress, but not AIMIM, in local pollsVanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) president Prakash Ambedkar. (Express File)

Ahead of crucial Maharashtra local bodies elections, including to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) president Prakash Ambedkar has kept the option of an alliance with the Congress open-ended.

“My politics is not driven by seat arithmetic. What is central to our politics is to keep the right-wing RSS-BJP out of politics, to fight the divisive forces, to defeat the politics of hatred and communalism, which divides people,” Ambedkar told The Indian Express on Monday.

In a renewed attempt to unite all like-minded parties on one platform, Ambedkar has started touring the state. “We will talk to everybody to promise communal harmony,” he said.

“Our VBA is open to an alliance with the Congress,” Ambedkar said, adding that however, “they should treat us with respect on equal terms”. “Often in the past, it has been our experience that after getting our nod, the alliance fails because of false propaganda that the VBA has demanded a disproportionate seat share,” he said. “Today, what is needed is to carry forward the political legacy of Dr BR Ambedkar to save the Indian Constitution. We have to fight to reaffirm the politics and social reforms undertaken by stalwarts like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj.”

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However, Ambedkar has categorically ruled out any alliance with the AIMIM, which was the party’s ally in 2019.

The great-grandson of BR Ambedkar said he had embarked on an experiment to unite all oppressed segments of society. Instead of confining his politics to Dalits, he has tried to expand his politics to the Other Backward Classes.

“Our Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi represents the oppressed, suppressed and backward people across the state. This is the most vulnerable segment that requires hand-holding for socio-economic empowerment.”

“A case in point is the Maratha community. Marathas are politically powerful. They are a dominant ruling class, and economically powerful. But the prosperity is confined to a few thousand families. Say 40 per cent of the Maratha population is rich and doing well. What about the low-rung, poor Marathas? They have been badly neglected by their political leaders for the past six decades. Through the VBA, we want to champion their cause too,” he said.

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