Days after their meeting at the launch of a website and initial exploratory talks between leaders of two parties, the Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray chief Uddhav Thackeray and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi founder Prakash Ambedkar on Monday met to take forward talks on alliance ahead of upcoming BMC elections.
This is yet another attempt of ShivShakti and BhimShakti to jointly take on BJP. Both the leaders, who met for over two hours at the suburban five star hotel, have been unanimous for stitching an alliance against a common rival BJP.
Uddhav Thackeray, party MP Vinayak Raut and Thackeray’s close aide Milind Narvekar were present from Shiv Sena UBT Thackeray while VBA was represented by Prakash Ambedkar and his son Sujat Ambedkar. Earlier, Thackeray group leader Subhash Desai and the VBA delegation have held two meetings and indicated that the alliance is in the pipeline.
A Shiv Sena UBT leader said they will meet again to work out further details of an alliance. Although Thackeray and Ambedkar were tight lipped over their talks but leaders from both the sides hinted that the talks were quite positive and soon a final picture will emerge. The alliance between the two is important especially when BJP has launched Mission 2022 to defeat Shiv Sena UBT and win power in BMC.
Leader of Opposition in the state council and Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray leader Ambadas Danve said, ‘’It is a good sign if the Shiv Shakti and Bhim Shakti are coming together. If the grandsons of Prabodhankar Thackeray and BR Ambedkar are joining hands together it needs to be seen not merely from the political angle but also from the social perspective.’’
He further noted,’’Maharashtra is a progressive state. Earlier also the Shiv Shakti and Bhim Shakti had come together and efforts were made to create a rift between the two. However, once again if they will ally together this time it will be a good step from the political and social point of view.’’
However, It needs to be seen whether the alliance will restrict to Shiv Sena UBT and VBA or whether the latter will be the fourth ally in the Maha Vikas Aghadi. Insiders from these parties said with the inclusion of VBA in the MVA, the number of individual seats among Shiv Sena UBT, NCP and Congress during their distribution will be reduced.
‘’Therefore, clarity is needed. If the alliance will take place only between Thackeray camp and VBT, then the former will have to leave a few seats to Ambedkar without disturbing the seat allocation to NCP and Congress,’’ a senior NCP leader told the Free Press Journal.
Hours after the meeting, BJP taunted that even if Thackeray and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Mr Asaduddin Owaisi come together, it won’t impact the poll prospects BJP-Eknath Shinde led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena in BMC.
BJP leaders react to the coalition
‘’No matter with whom Uddhav Thackeray forms an alliance, we are ready to win the election. Our opponents are already united in the form of Maha Vikas Aghadi, yet we have won the Gram Panchayat elections after forming the government in the state. It does not matter if any party unites against us. The Shinde Fadnavis government is doing good work. BJP and Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena are strengthening the alliance. We are preparing to get 51 percent votes. So the opposition alliance will not make any difference to us,’’ said the state BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule.
He further claimed that no one owns the votes of backward classes or tribals saying that Mr Ambedkar does not alone represents votes of Dalits and backward class.
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