VBA declares candidates along with their castes

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

The party has announced that it will contest all the 288 seats in the state.

Prakash Ambedkar

Mumbai: The Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) on Tuesday released its first list of 22 candidates for the forthcoming state Vidhan Sabha polls.

The party has announced that it will contest all the 288 seats in the state. The first list contains candidates for 13 seats in Western Maharashtra, six in Vidarbha, two in Marathwada and one in North Maharashtra.

Like the Lok Sabha polls, the VBA has announced the caste and community of each candidate in the list. “The VBA will field representatives of the deprived and weak communities. Opportunity will be given to people from marginalised communities while the other parties are dominated by the privileged communities,” said Mr Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in a statement.

It is not yet clear whether the VBA and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) will renew their alliance for the Maharashtra polls.

The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, formed by Ambedkar, who headed the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, had contested all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in the general election this year. But Ambedkar and the AIMIM could not strike a seat-sharing deal for the state polls.

However, Mr Ambedkar said that he was still hopeful for the alliance with the AIMIM. “I will try to forge an alliance with Owaisi till the last moment,” he said.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the AIMIM, with an alliance with the VBA, had managed to win Aurangabad seat.

While VBA did not win any of the seats, it had managed to spoil the chances of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that consists of Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in at least seven seats.