April 21, 2024


The Congress move to name Abhay Kashinath Patil from Maharashtra’s Akola has put a firm period to its intended  friendly ties with Prakash Ambedkar’s VBA (Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi). Though the alliance plans of the Maha Vikas Aghadi and the VBA fell through, the Congress and Mr Ambedkar had declared support for each other, especially in Akola, a seat the Dalit leader wished to contest.

In Telangana, the Grand Old Party has announced a candidate for Warangal — Kadiyan Kavya, who crossed over from K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi a few days ago. Ms Kavya is daughter of senior BRS leader and sitting MLA Kadiam Srihari, who also served as deputy chief minister in then BRS government. The sitting BRS Lok Sabha member from Warangal, Pasunoori Dayakar, also joined the Congress in Telangana recently.

In Maharashtra, when the MVA and the VBA were discussing seat sharing, the alliance was ready to give Prakash Ambedkar the Akola seat along with four others.

But after the VBA decided to go solo, the Congress — which had been the one pushing for a tie-up — had said it would support Mr Ambedkar from Akola. Mr Ambedkar, whose party has significant support among Dalits in the state, had also promised support to the Congress in multiple seats.

The national party’s move to field its own candidate from the seat, however, indicates it is no longer supporting the VBA as promised and vice versa.

Last week, Mr Ambedkar’s VBA had declared its intention to go it alone in the election, upset over the MVA’s failure to come to an understanding over a handful of contentious seats in the state. Mr Ambedkar later claimed he had spoken to Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil and got his support.

Shortly after, Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena UBT had jumped the gun and announced candidates for 17 seats, sparking speculation about an open rift within the MVA. Four of the 17 seats were coveted by the Congress.


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