“Seat-Sharing On Hold For Prakash Ambedkar’s Party”: Sharad Pawar

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'Seat-Sharing On Hold For Prakash Ambedkar's Party': Sharad Pawar

The NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) chief said the opposition bloc wants Mr Ambedkar’s party on board.

Mumbai:

NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) President Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said seat-sharing among Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) constituents for the Lok Sabha polls is stuck as leaders are waiting for the political outfit led by BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar to join the opposition bloc in Maharashtra.

Mr Pawar maintained alliance leaders have suggested giving four to five Lok Sabha seats to the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), which, he said, has given a list of 16 constituencies where it claims to have a good presence.

He expressed confidence about finalising allocation of seats among MVA allies, which currently includes the Congress, the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar), in the next two to three days.

The MVA is part of the national-level opposition bloc INDIA.

Although the Ambedkar-led party did not win a single seat in the 2019 general elections, it garnered a healthy 14 per cent vote share and damaged prospects of candidates of the Congress and the then-undivided NCP in several constituencies, according to political analysts.

In Nanded, former chief minister of Maharashtra and then Congress candidate Ashok Chavan lost the election by nearly 40,000 votes. The VBA candidate in Nanded had received more than 1 lakh votes.

Mr Ambedkar had then criticised the Congress for not accepting his offer to join hands with him and put up a challenge against the BJP.

Over the last two weeks, Mr Ambedkar and his colleagues have been claiming that MVA leaders are delaying finalisation of seat-sharing formula in the state, which has 48 Lok Sabha constituencies, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh (80).

Asked about this, Mr Pawar said, “We are waiting for the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi to come on board. We want them to come with us. Our seat-sharing formula is on hold for the VBA.” 

The former Union minister asserted that Mr Ambedkar has been talking about ousting the BJP-led government at the Centre.

“If the VBA has any genuine complaints, we are ready to take note and resolve them. We are also ready to take any corrective action. There is a need to bring unanimity at the state level. Prakash Ambedkar always says the Modi government should go. We agree with his line,” he said.

“We will finalise (seat-sharing) in the next two to three days when issues related to VBA are resolved,” said the Rajya Sabha MP.

Asked about the number of constituencies the regional outfit is asking for, Mr Pawar said, “Mr Ambedkar gave a list of 16 seats where the VBA has a good presence. The VBA has asked MVA leaders how many seats they can share out of those 16 constituencies. We have suggested giving four to five seats to them.” 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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