Prakash Ambedkar
Prakash Ambedkar

Mumbai: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar released the party’s first list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

The party which created a dent into the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) vote bank in the Lok Sabha elections is set to contest in all the 288 seats of the state.

Unveiling the list of candidates at a press conference Ambedkar said, “The agenda of the VBA is to create a classless and democratic society within Maharashtra,”.

All the 22 candidates on the list come from backward classes. Underlining this fact Ambedkar stated, in the entire political history of Maharashtra, the minorities were severely deprived and exploited.

“The established political parties are promoting caste based politics and nepotism to sideline the smaller parties,” he added. Ambedkar have brought together groups of Dalits, Muslims, Kolis, Lohars and tribals together to fight the elections.

In the Lok Sabha elections, the party was in alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which fought all the 48 seats. AIMIM’s Maharashtra unit president Imtiaz Jaleel won from Aurangabad while VBA lost all the other seats.

Recently AIMIM called off the alliance stating Ambedkar was not flexible when it came to seat sharing issues, while the former demanded at least 50 seats for the assembly elections.

“The alliance was called off by AIMIM, still if they want to form an alliance we are open for dialogue,” said the VBA chief.

Earlier, Ambedkar also showed interest to join the Congress-NCP alliance, but he backed off stating the Congress was not providing enough seats to the smaller parties.

Speculations also surfaced about VBA forming an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) but spokesperson from both the parties have not confirmed anything yet.

While the AAP have already released their first list of candidates on Monday, it can be presumed this alliance also did not work out either.

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