Mumbai: The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar on Monday expressed confidence that his alliance would come to power in the October 21 elections and said it was hopeful of a patch-up with the All India Majlis-e-Ittedhadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The VBA will contest all the 288 seats and is unlikely to have any truck with the Opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance.
“We have very good relations with the AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi and are open to any dialogue with them for forging a pre-poll alliance. Those who are trying to create a divide between us will not succeed,” Ambedkar declared.
The VBA chief added that it will announce the names of all its candidates, including the alliance partners by Thursday, a day before the filing of nominations open.
It may be recalled that a fortnight ago, the AIMIM legislator Syed Imtiaz Jaleel had unilaterally snapped ties with the VBA after the latter offered it only eight of the 288 seats in the state Assembly.
Ambedkar told mediapersons that the VBA had “offered” 144 seats to the Congress but it has not responded.
He alleged that the Congress once called him the ‘B-team of BJP’ but was working out an understanding with the BJP to escape the government investigating agencies in corruption cases on (Congress) its leaders.
It may be recalled that the VBA had contested the Lok Sabha elections and secured one Lok Sabha seat – Jaleel of AIMIM from Aurangabad, but it marred the Congress-NCP prospects in at least half a dozen other seats.
In the assembly elections, the voters’ plates will be full of choices with many more contenders in the fray.
Besides the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena, the Congress-NCP, there will be the VBA, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), both planning to fight chunks of seats, and the Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti (VRAS) with several parties under its fold, contesting around 40-45 seats in eastern Maharashtra.