‘B team’ barb: Prakash Ambedkar slams Congress
In the recent Lok Sabha polls, the presence of VBA candidates led to defeat of the Congress-NCP in nine seats, as the anti-BJP votes got split between them.Updated: Jun 22, 2019 02:38 IST
Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar wants the Congress to clarify whether the party still considers his outfit the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “B team.” Addressing the media on Friday, Ambedkar also said that he would announce candidates for the ensuing Assembly elections from July 20.
In the recent Lok Sabha polls, the presence of VBA candidates led to defeat of the Congress-NCP in nine seats, as the anti-BJP votes got split between them. Following this, irked Congress-NCP leaders had blamed the VBA for BJP-Sena alliance winning more than 40 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. If the VBA goes solo once again, there are chances it could damage the Congress-NCP’s prospects in the upcoming Assembly polls too.
Ambedkar said the VBA was open to talks of alliance. “Congress has been accusing us of being BJP’s B-Team. They should clarify whether they still consider us that or as an independent entity. We will start alliance talks only after that,” he said.
He further said that the front would not entertain talks of alliance once it declares its candidates. “The VBA will announce the first 20 seats from July 20. The first list will have candidates from the VJNT (Vimukta Jaati and Nomadic Tribes) and OBC (Other Backward Class) communities. Once we announce the candidates, we will neither withdraw their names nor consider alliance on those seats. These are strong candidates who will win these seats,” said Ambedkar.
Meanwhile, Congress said it would form an alliance with secular parties. “We want all secular parties to come together to fight the communal BJP-Shiv Sena alliance,” said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
First Published: Jun 22, 2019 02:38 IST