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  Metros   Mumbai  26 May 2019  Ashok Chavan blames VBA for defeat, calls it BJP’s B team

Ashok Chavan blames VBA for defeat, calls it BJP’s B team

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 26, 2019, 5:40 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2019, 5:40 am IST

Terming the Prakash Ambedkar-led alliance as the ‘B team of the BJP,’ he said it cost the Congress-NCP combine ‘nine to ten seats’ in the state.

State Congress chief Ashok Chavan
 State Congress chief Ashok Chavan

Mumbai: State Congress chief Ashok Chavan has blamed the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) for his party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

Terming the Prakash Ambedkar-led alliance as the ‘B team of the BJP,’ he said it cost the Congress-NCP combine ‘nine to ten seats’ in the state.

“The VBA is the B team of the BJP, and it helped the BJP only. It affected our chances in at least nine to ten seats,” said Mr Chavan.

The State Congress chief himself lost Nanded seat due to the split in votes caused by the VBA. He was defeated by BJP candidate Prataprao Chikhlikar by 40,000 votes.

While Mr Chikhlikar polled 4.86 lakh votes, Mr Chavan secured 4.46 lakh votes. VBA candidate Yashpal Bhinge in Nanded managed to poll 1.66 lakh votes.

In Aurangabad in the Marathwada region, a Shiv Sena stronghold, sitting MP Chandrakant Khaire lost by a slender margin to VBA nominee Imtiaz Jaleel.

Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar joined hands with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) to form the VBA ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The VBA was in talks with the Congress-NCP to form an alliance. However, the talks fell through following which, the VBA decided to contest all 48 seats independently in Maharashtra.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the VBA candidates polled more than 41 lakh votes across the state. In eight seats – Akola, Buldhana, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Hatkanangale, Nanded, Parbhani, Sangli and Solapur – the victory margins of the BJP-Sena candidates were lower than the votes polled by VBA candidates.

Mr Chavan expressed confidence that Assembly polls, scheduled in the state later this year, would be a different story and the Congress would do well.

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Tags: ashok chavan, prakash ambedkar