Prakash Ambedkar: Congress should set aside 12 Lok Sabha seats
Updated:  Oct 11, 2018, 01:10 PM
Chief of Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, Prakash Ambedkar, who is actively working towards bringing smaller political parties together against the ruling BJP, has demanded 12 seats from the Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“My party is willing to join hands with the Congress to put up a strong front. But we have taken a decision not to have any alliance with the NCP,” said Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh president.
Prakash Ambedkar stated that he is holding talks with at least half a dozen smaller organisations. He said, “To make the pre-poll alliance workable, I have demanded 12 Lok Sabha seats. There are 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. Of which there are 12 such seats where Congress has repeatedly lost in four Lok Sabha elections. Now, they should not have any problem in conceding these seats to us.”
Smaller parties that are neither aligned to the Congress-NCP or the BJP-Shiv Sena, along with Independents, together constituted 18.90 per cent when it comes to vote share in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Both BJP and Congress are in talks with these small groups to turn this percentage into their favour.
Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul, CPI (M), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi and Peasant and Workers Party are among the smaller parties in Maharashtra.
BJP had 23 seats (27.03%); Shiv Sena had 18 (20.06%); Congress had two seats (18.01%); and the NCP had four (16%) shows the Lok Sabha 2014 results.
“At this stage, we are still in the process of talking to like-minded parties against the BJP-Sena alliance. Once we have a clearer picture, seat-sharing would be discussed,” said a senior Congress leader.
A leading newspaper states, responding to Ambedkar’s demand, a Congress leader requesting anonymity said: “Ambedkar wants an alliance with Congress but not NCP. Whereas, the NCP wants to get into an alliance with the MNS, which is not acceptable to the Congress. The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana that was once against the NCP has declared a truce. So, there are a lot of issues that would have to be sorted out.”
Raju Shetti, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief, met Ambedkar but the talks were indecisive. But Shetti has taken the lead to join hands with the NCP. He has started sharing ideas with Jayant Patil, State NCP president. They are also holding public programmes in western Maharashtra.
The NCP-Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana alliance may not suit Ambedkar.
Congress has turndown NCP’s proposal to get the MNS on board. Ashok Chavan State Congress president believes that they cannot endorse anti-migrant politics.
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