Mumbai: After registering impressive performance in the recently held Lok Sabha elections, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) is on the verge of vertical split. In a shocking development, its founder and senior leader Laxman Mane has deserted the party and demanded resignation of VBA Chief Prakash Ambedkar. He was supposedly upset for being sidelined in the party and the newly-joined leaders were getting plum positions in VBA. Shivanand Haibatpure, Secretary of VBA and a prominent Lingayat community leader is also considered on the way of leaving VBA. Two months before prominent leader of VBA, Justice BG Kolse Patil, Milind Pakhale too deserted Ambedkar accusing him for compromising with ideology and helping BJP-Shiv Sena.
Ambedkar is known for his autocratic style of working. In his political career most of his key associates left him. Mane too accused him not taking into confidence before taking any key decision. Mane is a respected figure in social and political field and was heading a small political party aligned with VBA which was mega alliance of small parties and more than 100 social organisations. He is one of the key persons who played a major role in the formation of this Aghadi. Recently, Prakash Ambedkar constituted Executive body of the party. In this, Mane was not given any key post and clubbed in Parliamentary board of the party with two other leaders. Instead Gopichand Padalkar who joined VBA at the time of Lok Sabha election was appointed as General Secretary of the party. Mane is known for his political ambitions and was dreaming to go to Rajya Sabha from post Assembly election. His dreams shattered as VBA offered only 40 seats to Congress which was a clear indication that there will not be any alliance wit Congress. “This put question mark of good performance of VBA in assembly election and this almost ended the possibility of winning good number of legislators there by zeroing chances of Mane to go to Rajya Sabha with the help of these MLAs,” a close confidante of Mane told FPJ.
Mane has accused that RSS people have grabbed the VBA. “The VBA is the organisation of marginalised people, but has now become the organisation of upper castes. Gopinath Padalkar, close associate of Sambhaji Bhide and worker of RSS. A R Anjaria, leader of RSS’ Muslim Organisation has been inducted as the Executive of the organisation,” Mane accused. “Offering 40 seats to Congress was a humiliating thing. If VBA is interesetd to align with Congress and NCP, I will be with Prakash Ambedkar. I will contest election with my group and will not help BJP-Shiv Sena,” Mane added.