The Hindu (Mumbai)

Ambedkar targets Sanjay Raut for break down in seatsharin­g talks between MVA, VBA

- Shoumojit Banerjee

After announcing that his Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) would have no truck with the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in the Lok Sabha election, VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar on Friday singled out Sanjay Raut, spokespers­on of the Uddhav Thackerayl­ed Shiv Sena (UBT) faction, as being responsibl­e for the break down in parleys between the MVA and the VBA.

Speaking in Mumbai, Mr. Ambedkar targeted Mr. Raut for spreading “misinforma­tion” about seatsharin­g during the talks, and accusing the Sena (UBT) leader of “stabbing the VBA in the back”.

“Sanjay Raut, how many lies will you tell,” Mr. Ambedkar said and alleged that it was Mr. Raut who had not invited the VBA for seatsharin­g meetings with the MVA.

“Is it not true that you [Mr. Raut] had raised the issue of fielding a candidate against the VBA in Akola? On the one hand, he was creating this perception of forming an alliance with us, but on the other, he was plotting to undermine the VBA,” said

Mr. Ambedkar.

Meanwhile, Mr. Raut gave a guarded response to Mr. Ambedkar’s ‘allegation­s’.

He said, “Our fight is against those [meaning BJP] who are stabbing democracy in the back. I have nothing to do with Mr. Ambedkar’s remarks. We [the MVA] had given him an offer of five Lok Sabha seats. It is now up to him to decide.”

He added that Mr. Ambedkar had been levelling accusation­s against various parties and leaders, including Maharashtr­a Congress chief Nana Patole.

He clarified that the MVA had invited Mr. Ambedkar and his party to every meeting on seatsharin­g discussion­s.

Raut has stabbed us in the back

PRAKASH AMBEDKAR Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief

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