Prakash Ambedkar and his party never contributed to Mumbai local issues
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi is planning to contest from 80-90 seats in the BMC election and will hold a press conference on Monday to announce its alliance. The VBA plans to contest 80-90 seats in the upcoming civic polls in February 2022. The VBA plans to contest seats that have a substantial number of Dalit and Muslim populations where VBA claims to have worked at ground level. Political experts and analysts, feel that even if Ambedkar commands respect and influence among urban Dalit masses, it is questionable how much of it will translate into votes for them.
Ramdas Athawale, president of the Republican Party of India (RPI-A) said, “There is no significant work done by the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi in Mumbai. We have a stronghold in Mumbai. As in 1992 Congress and RPI coalition and the 20-22 years long Sena and BJP’s alliance was stirred. The majority is with us, with the RPI. Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi can’t give a strong fight. BJP and RPI have Brahmins, North Indians, Dalits, Christians, etc along with them. That’s why Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s presence will not affect anyone for that matter. Some Dalit votes might be gained by them, but nothing major.”
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) does not have a strong network in Mumbai, at least not strong enough to win a seat. As they have no exclusive contribution here. The party does not have that much strong influence in the city for the civic elections. Ahead of the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) led by Advocate Prakash Ambedkar announced the party’s coalition partner.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Dhananjay Shinde said, “Looking at Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s role in 2019 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections, their unity has disseminated. Many of their leaders have left their party and joined others. The power of influence they had in 2019 has now completely disappeared. Their existence is negligible. If it was 100 per cent at that time, today it has reduced to 10 per cent in my opinion. So, there will be no major effect of their presence over the current elections. Even in the Dalit community, the belief in this political party is extinct.”
Waris Pathan, Spokesperson, AIMIM said, “Whatever number of seats they want to contest is their matter of concern. We will contest the elections with full spirit. And our president has said that in winter session in Nagpur, if they give five per cent reservation, then we won’t contest elections. If they don’t then we will have to fight. And we believe that the public will stand with us and support us. Our matters of concern are different. Our issues are regarding development, the apathy of roads, etc. The Mumbai Corporation has a budget of over 30000 crores, which is more than the budget of some states. But still, the condition is not good. One day’s rainfall damaged Mumbai Road completely. Many cases against the contractors have also been filed. So, if something good is to be done for Mumbai, we will do it. Last time we won 2 seats, this time our corporators will win even more.”
Avdhut Wagh a BJP spokesperson said, “Corporation’s elections are not fought this way. They are fought on the basis of local civic issues. The base of Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi is religion and caste, and not related to local citizens’ basic issues like ‘gutter, meter and water’. So, they won’t be able to make any impact. Their Impact level is literally zero. They can’t even form a coalition with anyone. Because their ego is so huge. The MVA is united. Congress wants to go independently. BJP has already declared to go by themselves. No one knows with whom Shiv Sena will collaborate. They have many corporators. There are many questions. BJP, Congress and Shiv Sena have their dedicated pockets. But since 2002, the Nationalist Congress hasn’t had any pockets. NCP has their limited 8-10 seats for which they will contest. NCP could have the maximum benefit if it goes along with Shiv Sena. Congress needs to make sure that Shiv Sena cannot win the election on its own. They need to make a situation that with their help only a new Mayor will be elected. Congress has its pockets in Dharavi, Malwani, Mumbadevi, etc. They will be elected for sure. In all of these scenarios, Vanchit Bahujan has no role to play. There will be no representative of theirs who will be elected. No matter they fight for 90 or 227. They will contest, but won’t win. The fight everywhere will be between BJP vs Shiv Sena, Congress vs Shivsena, BJP vs NCP. Everywhere BJP will win seats. It is a neck-to-neck fight. This is a corporation’s election. People here vote for their candidates.”