In Maharashtra, Congress in talks with Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar
New Delhi, Feb 25: After the party screening committee meeting, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Monday said that they are in talks with the Dalit leader and founder of the Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) Prakash Ambedkar, and offered 4 seats for Lok Sabha election 2019.
The mega alliance stitched by the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra already had Raju Shetti's Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana on their side at the time and talks were on to bring on board Prakash Ambedkar's Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) as well.
Speaking to ANI, Patil said,''We have had talks with Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of BR Ambedkar and head of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), 3-4 times. They have demanded that RSS need to be brought under law boundation. We're ready for that and have requested them to send us a draft.''
It can be recalled that Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, who is being wooed by the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party to join their alliance in Maharashtra, has been demanding that the election manifesto of the secular combine promise a ban on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
''We offered Prakash Ambedkar 4 seats & he said they'll reply. There are talks of leaving 8 seats for alliance, there can be 1 or 2 seats more. Congress & NCP have always been flexible for alliance,'' he said.
''Swabhimani Shetkari Saghtana, CPM & Prakash Ambedkar's Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi are there (in talks of alliance with Congress & NCP), but Ambedkar hasn't confirmed,'' Patil also said.
Vikhe Patil said,''Ramdas Athawale was in Congress earlier as well & he is welcome in alliance if he wants. There is no question of talks with MNS. We have had talks with Swabhimani Shetkari Saghtana's Raju Shetti.''
Meanwhile, NCP president Sharad Pawar Monday said attempts are still on to forge a "grand alliance" against the BJP in Maharashtra for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.