Prakash Amdedkar
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Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has offered 40 out of total 288 seats to the crisis-hit Congress if it wanted to enter into an alliance for the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra.
Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has offered 40 out of total 288 seats to the crisis-hit Congress if it wanted to enter into an alliance for the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra.
Announcing that the VBA, which also comprises AIMIM, is ready to contest all 288 constituencies, Ambedkar said the Congress has become rudderless.
 
"Considering the strength of the Congress party in the state, we have offered them 40 seats. Now they have to decide what to do about our proposal. There is no one (in the Congress) to take a decision at the Centre as well as the state level (in the Congress)," he said, adding that the condition of that party has become like a body without the head.
 
The Congress plunged into a crisis following two consecutive drubbings it suffered in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls and resignation by party president Rahul Gandhi.
 
In Maharashtra, which was once a stronghold of the Congress, the party could win just one out of total 48 LS seats this time. Justifying his offer, Ambedkar argued the Congress had not even contested from at least 144 out of total 288 seats in Maharashtra in the last three elections, which means they lacked organisation network in those segments.
 
"The Congress has to decide what to do with our proposal. Our Parliamentary Committee has started touring in ten districts and interviews of probable candidates have been conducted. We had contested all the 48 seats in the state in Lok Sabha elections, and are ready to contest all the Assembly constituencies," he said.
 
In the general elections held this year, the AIMIM won Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat with the party candidate Imtiyaz Jaleel defeating the Shiv Sena veteran Chandrakant Khaire by a narrow margin.Ambedkar also suggested that the Congress should stay away from its ally, the NCP, if the traditional votes of the Sharad Pawar-led party are not getting transferred to the Grand Old Party.Responding to a query, Ambedkar said the AIMIM is with the VBA.
 
"Sharing of seats is not an issue with the AIMIM but the probable winning seats (is)," he said.The VBA leader reiterated his demand to use ballot papers for the assembly polls. the 2014 elections, the BJP came to power by winning 122 seats. The BJP's ally, the Shiv Sena, won 62 seats. The Congress and the NCP bagged 42 and 41 seats, respectively. The state elections for this year are due in September-October.