VBA & AIMIM fail to make a mark as MVA strategy pays off - Hindustan Times
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VBA & AIMIM fail to make a mark as MVA strategy pays off

Jun 06, 2024 06:18 AM IST

Unlike 2019 when VBA and AIMIM candidates cut into the vote share of the Congress-NCP thus helping the BJP-Shiv Sena, the situation was different this time around as these smaller outfits failed to make a mark

Dalit and minority voters preferred largely to remain with the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra during the Lok Sabha (LS) elections while rejecting the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

In most constituencies where the VBA and AIMIM fielded candidates, the MVA prevented them from cutting into its vote share by avoiding any criticism of these parties while indirectly telling voters not to vote for these outfits. (HT PHOTO)
In most constituencies where the VBA and AIMIM fielded candidates, the MVA prevented them from cutting into its vote share by avoiding any criticism of these parties while indirectly telling voters not to vote for these outfits. (HT PHOTO)

Unlike 2019 when VBA and AIMIM candidates cut into the vote share of the Congress-NCP thus helping the BJP-Shiv Sena, the situation was different this time around as these smaller outfits failed to make a mark.

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The VBA contested 35 seats in Maharashtra and extended support to MVA candidates in six LS seats. The party won none of the seats. Prakash Ambedkar, VBA founder-president, was among those who tasted defeat with 2.76 lakh votes against the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Anup Dhotre in Akola. In Pune, the VBA fielded Vasant More, a strong candidate who was earlier with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). More managed to garner only 32,012 votes. The VBA’s vote share this time was far less than 14% of the vote share garnered by the party during the 2019 LS polls. In many places, the party candidates had to forfeit their deposit.

Ambedkar said, “I humbly accept the verdict in Akola and the rest of Maharashtra. I would like to thank the newly-elected MPs, who defeated the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). I am disappointed that the party did not win, but I have not lost hope. My colleagues and I will introspect about the poll outcome and analyse the causes of our defeat and work on strengthening the party in the coming days.”

Whereas the AIMIM got 0.61% votes in the 2024 LS polls, down from the 0.7% it had secured in the 2019 parliamentary polls. The AIMIM’s MP from Sambhaji Nagar, Imtiaz Jaleel, lost the election to Shiv Sena’s Sandipan Bhumre by a margin of 1.34 lakh votes.

In most constituencies where the VBA and AIMIM fielded candidates, the MVA prevented them from cutting into its vote share by avoiding any criticism of these parties while indirectly telling voters not to vote for these outfits. During the seat-sharing talks too, the MVA appeared to take every possible step to bring VBA into its fold. However, the VBA’s adamant approach proved counter-productive as the party was perceived as indirectly helping the BJP.

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said, “As the opposition parties effectively created a narrative about a change in the Constitution, it affected the BJP. Even the minority votes got consolidated in many places and helped the INDIA alliance.”

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