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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Prakash Ambedkar to contest from Solapur, trouble for Sushil Kumar Shinde

Ambedkar, who heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), was expected to contest from Akola. “I have decided to contest from Solapur,” he said.

constituency watch Updated: Mar 11, 2019 23:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Ambedkar, who has good following among Dalits in the constituency, may give a tough competition to Shinde, who is planning a comeback.(FILE)

In what may spell bad news for Congress leader and former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar on Monday announced his decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Solapur constituency.

Ambedkar, who heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), was expected to contest from Akola. “I have decided to contest from Solapur,” he said.

Ambedkar, who has good following among Dalits in the constituency, may give a tough competition to Shinde, who is planning a comeback. In the 2014 polls, Shinde was trounced by Sharad Bansode, who was called the giant killer for defeating the veteran Congressman, who was then the Union home minister.

Ambedkar has been refusing to join Congress-NCP led opposition coalition. He had initially demanded 12 seats, which was refused by the combine, who were ready to part with just two. He has also tied up with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) led by Asaduddin Owaisi. The Congress asked Ambedkar to snap its ties with AIMIM, as it termed it a communal outfit, which Ambedkar refused

Ambedkar, who then gave the Congress-NCP a deadline of February 28, announced that he would contest all 48 seats in the state. Now, he is saying he could reconsider the alliance, if the VBA is given 22 seats. A senior Congress leader said Ambedkar was deliberately resorting to such tactics as he is not keen to join the Opposition coalition.

First Published: Mar 11, 2019 23:13 IST