‘Restless’ Ambedkar now targets ally Shiv Sena (UBT) over seat-sharing

Mumbai, Jan 8 (IANS): Irked at the delays by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) over the seat-sharing formula, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) targeted its ally Shiv Sena (UBT), asking it to ‘come clean’ on the issue on Monday.

VBA President Prakash Ambedkar has called upon the SS-UBT to reveal “what kind of understanding” it has reached with the MVA partners, Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (SP).

“As far as we are concerned, our understanding is clear… If the Congress-NCP (SP) do not respond, then VBA and Shiv Sena (UBT) will each contest 24 seats each in Maharashtra,” Ambedkar said while talking to media persons.

Tightening the screws on ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray, he added that if the Congress has not made the stand clear, then the Shiv Sena (UBT) could at least reveal what has transpired with the NCP (SP).

For effect, Ambedkar reiterated his earlier threat that “if the MVA does not include us”, then VBA is ready to contest all the 48 seats in Maharashtra.

This morning, SS-UBT MP Sanjay Raut said that the VBA can contest the Akola Lok Sabha seat and none of the MVA allies would object to it.

Rejecting this, Ambedkar wondered why the SS-UBT kept harping only on the Akola seat when he could contest any seat in the state. Incidentally, the VBA chief was elected twice from Akola and later served a term in Rajya Sabha.

“Why only discuss Akola… Let anybody contest it, I can stand for election from Mumbai, or Pune, or even from Badayuni (Badaun) in Uttar Pradesh… Nobody can stop me… But first you spell out to us what agreement has been reached with the NCP (SP),” said Ambedkar.

Four months ago, Ambedkar had said that the VBA and Shiv Sena (UBT) are ‘engaged’, but two ‘priests’ (NCP(SP)-Congress) were allegedly playing spoilsport for the formal wedding (alliance).

On Ambedkar’s latest outburst, the Congress-NCP (SP) have declined to comment saying that the MVA seat-sharing talks are “almost final” and the announcement will be made soon, and said there are no commitments on including VBA in the MVA or the national opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc.



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Title: ‘Restless’ Ambedkar now targets ally Shiv Sena (UBT) over seat-sharing

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