Ambedkar’s VBA dents MVA prospects in four Maharashta seats | India News – Times of India


NAGPUR: The Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) did not win anywhere in Maharashtra, but in at least four seats, it got more votes than the winning margin of BJP and its allies.
Though it saw a significant loss in vote share compared to 2019, votes polled by VBA thus impacted the prospects of Congress and allies in Akola, Buldhana, Hatkanangle, and Mumbai North-West.Mahayuti’s tally of 18 may have further dipped to 14 in the event of a pact between MVA and Ambedkar, say experts. Congress and its allies in Maharashtra had held several rounds of negotiations with Ambedkar, but he had held firm on his demand for six seats.
“We are doing a post-mortem on our poll defeat and will issue a statement to the media in a couple of days. All our candidates suffered this time. We were always ready to join MVA, but they refused to grant us a minimum number of seats to contest. We suggested just six seats, where our chance of winning was more, but they offered us just Akola and Mumbai North. So, we decided to fight on our own,” Ambedkar told TOI on Wednesday.

Not 2019 hard knock, still VBA dashes MVA hopes in five seats.

In 2019, VBA, which has a pro-dalit tilt, garnered over 41.3 lakh votes from the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. Its performance in three-cornered contests had a decisive effect in at least 10 seats. Congress and NCP candidates who lost due to the split in votes included big names like former CM Ashok Chavan, former FDA minister Rajendra Shingane and Ambedkar himself, who finished second from Akola.
Compared to 2014, when VBA candidates contested on just four seats and secured a total vote share of 0.75%, the party’s share in 2019 had spiralled to 14.75%. In 2024, its vote share has plunged to just 0.24% as it secured 15.79 lakh votes.
On his poll strategy for the assembly polls later this year, the VBA chief said they would take a call on an alliance after analysing the situation.
Majority VBA candidates finished at third, fourth and fifth position in the 38 seats it contested, including Ambedkar himself, who finished third with 2.76 lakh votes in Akola. The party’s support base comprises Buddhist, Dalit, and minority communities. BJP’s Anup Dhotre won the seat by over 40,000 votes against Congress candidate Dr Abhay Patil. In Mumbai Northwest, where VBA’s Parmeshwar Ranshur received 10,052 votes, Mahayuti candidate Ravindra Waikar emerged a winner by the lowest margin in this election.

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