Ambed­kar may not align with CONG-NCP

LS POLLS BBM firm on de­mand for 12 seats and writ­ten as­sur­ance on get­ting RSS un­der Con­sti­tu­tion; Con­gress hope­ful

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­[email protected]­dus­tan­

MUM­BAI: With the Bharip Bahu­jan Ma­hasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambed­kar firm on his con­di­tions, the chances of him join­ing the Con­gress-ncp-led grand al­liance seem slim. Be­sides the de­mand for 12 seats, Ambed­kar wants a writ­ten as­sur­ance from the Con­gress to bring the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh in the am­bit of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Ambed­kar, on Sun­day, said, “RSS is a fas­cist or­ga­ni­za­tion which does not fol­low our Con­sti­tu­tion. As we are fight­ing against it for years, we want the Con­gress to come up with a pro­posal to take ac­tion against it and make them fol­low the Con­sti­tu­tion. Un­til then, we have de­cided we won’t join hands with them for the elec­tions,” Ambed­kar said.

The Con­gress and NCP has held at least six meet­ings with BBM, urg­ing him to join the al­liance in their fight against the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Al­liance with Ambed­kar, grand­son of Dr Babasa­heb Ambed­kar, has emo­tional value among Dalit vot­ers. He en­joys fol­low­ing in parts of Vi­darbha, in­clud­ing Akola. Ambed­kar re­futed the claims that his de­ci­sion of not con­test­ing with the Con­gress and NCP will be of ad­van­tage to the rul­ing BJP. “The BJP is not in a po­si­tion to

win the polls, as they won’t get 12% Dhangar votes in the state in the en­su­ing polls. With­out the sup­port of Dhangars, it is im­pos­si­ble for the BJP to se­cure the as­pired num­ber of seats in Ma­ha­rash­tra,” Ambed­kar said. Ambed­kar has al­ready formed Van­chit Bahu­jan Aghadi (VBA), an al­liance of small par­ties, in­clud­ing Asadud­din Owaisi-led All In­dia Ma­jlis-e-it­te­hadul Mus­limeen (AIMIM), for the Lok Sabha elec­tions.

State Con­gress chief Ashok Cha­van said he was still hope­ful, as an al­liance would pre­vent

di­vi­sion of votes. “Not join­ing the grand al­liance is like sup­port­ing the BJP and will send out a wrong mes­sage,” he said.

Af­ter an­nounc­ing its de­ci­sion to con­test all 48 Lok Sabha seats of the state last week, BBM chief on Sun­day said they will give can­di­da­ture to rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Agri, Koli and other com­mu­ni­ties in Mum­bai and Konkan re­gion. He said the state govern­ment was try­ing to help builders by bring­ing SRA (a scheme for re­de­vel­op­ment of slums) in gaothans and koli­wadas, against the will of these com­mu­ni­ties.

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