After the Election Commission announced the poll dates, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar expressed hope that the Congress will be more willing to forge a pre-poll alliance. Ambedkar was speaking at a meeting in Khilafat House in Byculla on Sunday, where he interacted with party members of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s ally, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
“Since July last year, we have been in talks with the Congress for an anti-BJP, anti-RSS alliance for the polls. We have been asking for 12 seats for the Lok Sabha polls, where Congress has lost thrice. So far, the Congress has done samjhaute ki rajniti due to the fear that action will be taken against its leaders…like Chhagan Bhujbal….everyone wants to save themselves. With the polls announced and after the model code of conduct sets in, I hope Congress will be more willing to discuss seats without samjhaute ki rajniti,” Ambedkar said, adding that it will be “easier” if an alliance can be made with Congress.
He added that if a consensus cannot be reached with Congress, it will contest on its own along with AIMIM. “I would like to urge Muslims to come together to vote for the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi. The marginalised communities like the nomadic tribes, the denotified tribes and the Dhangar community, are also seeking to save the Constitution, like Dalits and Muslims are. They should join hands against the BJP,” said Ambedkar.
He added that in his alliance proposal, he is seeking two seats from the Congress for Muslim candidates. He said whether the AIMIM allies with the Congress or not, the alliance with AIMIM will continue in both Lok Sabha and state assembly elections.
AIMIM leaders present at the meeting said both the BJP and the Congress had made promises to marginalised communities but had only used them for elections without working for their rights and social justice. “Many reports including the Sachar committee have reiterated the backwardness of Muslims but no government has made any law for their rights. This is also the case with other marginalised communities. Now, we have an alternative to both the parties,” said AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan.