Mumbai: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar has a new offer for the Congress.
The VBA chief has offered the party 144 seats to contest in the upcoming Assembly polls, after initially offering only 40 seats. If the Congress does not accept our 50-50 seat sharing formula, we are ready to fight all 288 seats alone, Mr Ambedkar said on Monday.
“Although we are offering them 50 per cent of the seats, they seem to be not interested to ally and are pushing us towards the BJP,” he said.
The VBA chief has also announced that if voted to power, his party would reduce policemen’s duty by four hours. “We will fix an 8-hour duty for policemen instead of the present 12 hours. To tackle the shortage of manpower, we would recruit Home Guard and Civil Defence staff as policemen,” he said.
Slamming the BJP government for the Enforcement Directorate notice to MNS chief Raj Thackeray, Mr Ambedkar said,
“The government is blackmailing the Opposition by using the ED as a ‘weapon’. They are using it to suppress those who speak against the government. Congress is also a victim while half the NCP has been finished,”he alleged.
Meanwhile, commenting on the VBA’s offer, the Congress claimed that talks are still going on with the Ambedkar-led party. “We feel that all Opposition forces should unite to fight against the BJP. The talks are going on with the VBA and like-minded parties with similar ideologies should join hands. However, the party should give us a serious proposal,” said Sachin Sawant, state Congress spokesperson.
In the Lok Sabha polls, the VBA got around 40 lakh votes, mainly in Dalit and Muslim pockets of the state. This cut into the Congress share which led to the party winning only one seat — Chandrapur.