Mumbai: While Prakash Ambedkar led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) is humiliating Congress by offering 40 seats for the forthcoming assembly elections, the infighting on seats sharing within VBA has started to be surfacing. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which is in alliance with VBA, has now demanded 100 seats from VBA. Since AIMIM is now popular among Mulsims in the state, their demand may prove a new headache for the VBA leadership. The AIMIM has reportedly sent a letter demanding 100 seats in the state.
There are 288 seats in state assembly. “ We have good presence in Western Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Marathwada. We wish to contest at least double the seats than 2014,” Imtiyaz Jaleel, newly elected Lok Sabha member from Aurangabad and State President of AIMIM told media. In the 2014 assembly polls, the AIMIM contested 25 seats, but won only two seats and secured about 500,000 votes. This time it is expecting to do much better and therefore expecting more seats from VBA.
After wresting the Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat from the Shiv Sena in the general elections, the AIMIM is looking to increase its tally of 2 Members in the state Assembly, in the forthcoming Maharashtra assembly elections. The alliance with AIMIM has helped VBA to get good number of votes in many Lok Sabha seats in recently concluded election. The VBA and AIMIM has been successful to consolidate a good chunk of the Muslim, OBC and Dalit votes, at the expense of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The vote share among Dalits, STs and Muslims is about 35% of Maharashtra’s population.