THE STATE unit of the Congress has said it is keen to take on board the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) for the assembly and parliamentary elections. “Discussions are underway to strike an electoral alliance with Prakash Ambedkar’s party. So far, nothing has been finalised,” State Congress chief Ashok Chavan said on Wednesday.
Chavan said the All India Congress Committee will take a final decision regarding the alliance. “We want to take the BBM along for the next year’s election. I am sure a decision in this regard will be made soon,” he said.
On Tuesday, Ambedkar had met AIMIM leader Imitiaz Jaleel to discuss a possible alliance. However, he said a decision about joining hands with the AIMIM will be taken once the Congress makes its response clear. “We have been in discussions with Congress leaders regarding the alliance, but so far we have not received any response from them,” he said.
The AIMIM, however, said it wanted Ambedkar to lead an alliance of smaller parties. “We want Prakash Ambedkar to lead an alliance of ‘bahujan’ parties, be it Dalits or Muslims,” said Jaleel.
On October 2, the BBM and MIM are holding a rally in Aurangabad, where a decision regarding the “alliance” will be taken, he said. “We are confident that Ambedkar will lead our alliance and not join hands with the Congress. This is because Ambedkar has demanded 12 Lok Sabha seats from the Congress for next year’s election, but the Congress is not ready to part with the seats. The BBM has sought those seats where the Congress had been losing,” said Jaleel.
When queried if the AIMIM was ready to join the Congress-led alliance, Jaleel said a decision regarding this will be disclosed during the rally on October 2.
However, on Wednesday, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant tweeted that the AIMIM was the ‘B-team’ of the BJP. “Both AIMIM and BJP have the same communal agenda,” he said.
Sawant said the Congress has already held two rounds of discussions with the BBM and was in the process of finalising an alliance. Another Congress leader said the speculations about BBM joining hands with AIMIM was surprising as “AIMIM has the same agenda as the BJP. They are both busy polarising the masses.”