Reacting to the failed efforts by the Congress-NCP leaders to get Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader on board for a coalition in Maharashtra, Prakash Ambedkar slammed the alliance saying it had called VBA the ‘B team’ of BJP during the Lok Sabha elections. Ambedkar further warned that any talk of an alliance will happen post clarification regarding their previous comments.
“Congress-NCP called us ‘B team’ of BJP during Lok Sabha polls. So, they should first clarify what is our status now. The talk of alliance can happen after that,” Ambedkar said regarding an offer to form an anti-BJP coalition in the state.
During the election campaign ahead of polls, when seat-sharing talks had failed between both sides, Congress-NCP leaders had publicly accused Ambedkar’s party of having a “tacit understanding” with the BJP.
In spite of failed talks prior to the elections, Congress state president Ashok Chavan had once again opened the doors for talks for stitching up a post-poll alliance. “We are open to talks with him. He should be willing as well,” Chavan had said, more than a week ago.
Alleging discrepancy in the votes polled and counted in all 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the VBA leader said that additional votes were polled in 22 seats whereas, fewer votes were polled in 26 seats. “We seek explanation from the Election Commission of India on it,” he said.
VBA, which is an alliance led by Ambedkar and AIMIM’s Asududdin Owaisi, secured a final vote share of about eight per cent during the Lok Sabha elections, thus playing a decisive role in the defeat of the Congress-NCP alliance in at least seven seats. Congress could only win one seat in Maharashtra, whereas the NCP secured four seats which were announced on May 23. Discussions among alliance leaders in meetings following their poor performance in the state were dominated by how VBA had impacted and created “a division of secular votes”.