Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 17, 2018-Monday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Ambedkar, Owaisi to unite for 2019 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly polls; setback for Opposition?

The BBM-AIMIM alliance which will have an impact on electoral arithmetic, could thus, turn out to be an advantage for the Bharatiya Janata Party

mumbai Updated: Sep 15, 2018 23:50 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Prakash Ambedkar,Asaduddin Owaisi,2019 Lok Sabha elections
Ambedkar and Owaisi will share a dais on October 2 at Aurangabad where they will spell out their future stance. (HT FILE)

In a major political move, the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) is all set to forge an electoral alliance with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

This move is perceived to be a setback to the proposed grand alliance of Opposition parties in the state as there could be a split in Dalit and Muslim votes, opine political analysts. The BBM-AIMIM alliance which will have an impact on electoral arithmetic, could thus, turn out to be an advantage for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The move comes after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi recently urged Ambedkar to take a lead in forming an alternative alliance with like-minded parties.

Ambedkar and Owaisi will share a dais on October 2 at Aurangabad where they will spell out their future stance. According to Ambedkar, the alliance has been sealed with the AIMIM. “The Maharashtra unit of BBM has decided to fight the forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections with the AIMIM,” said Ambedkar. When quizzed about AIMIM’s communal tag, Ambedkar described the party as nationalist. “AIMIM espouses the cause of Muslims, but their credentials are secular.”

However, Ambedkar stressed that his offer of alliance with the Congress-led Opposition parties still stands. “We have asked the Congress for 12 Lok Sabha seats which they lost in the last two Lok Sabha polls. If they agree, we will align with the Opposition. The ball is in their court,” said Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.

BBM is one of the major Dalit outfits in the state wielding considerable clout in state politics. Similarly, AIMIM also has a good following among Muslims and has currently two legislators in the state assembly.

AIMIM’s Aurangabad legislator Imtiyaz Jaleel said the alliance is one of the credible alternatives for people. “The Congress in the past 70 years has only deprived Dalits, Muslims and other backward classes (OBCs) of their legitimate due and this alliance will give them justice. The BJP is anyway against them,” said Jaleel.

According to political analysts, the move could be a part of bargaining before the polls. “Ambedkar is trying pressure the Congress to accommodate him. This BMM- AIMIM alliance is hardly a potential alternative,” said political analyst Surendra Jondhale.

Political commentator Prakash Bal however said it will hurt Opposition parties in certain pockets. “The alliance has the potential to spoil the chances of the Congress-led alliance, thus benefitting the BJP.”

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 23:49 IST