Is Ambedkar proving to be a spanner in the MVA wheel?

Is Ambedkar proving to be a spanner in the MVA wheel?

His firebrand reputation predates that of Prakash Ambedkar, an unshakable critic of parties whom he feels have influenced not only his original ‘parent party’—the Republican Party of India (RPI), but organizations that It has also affected RPI, which has been running since the split in RPI. several factions several decades ago. He had allied with RPI factions and the United Congress in the past, and later experimented with expanding his party by joining hands with non-Dalits and Muslims. Recently, he realized that the Shiv Sena (UBT) has reshaped its Hindutva, and forged an alliance with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party for the upcoming elections. But things did not stop here from Ambedkar’s side. He is launching an open attack on Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, his political enemy, the architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), accusing him of favoring the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The allegation did not go down well with NCP and Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders like Sanjay Raut, who himself played a good role in bringing the MVA together in 2019. Congress is also not happy with Ambedkar’s entry into it. plan of things. In the three years since the formation of the MVA, the political climate has completely changed. Thackeray has lost 40 MLAs, his party is divided and factions are fighting to regain control of the parent organisation. Thackeray’s pact with Ambedkar is a means to strengthen his position in the BMC and in other elections, including the assembly and the Lok Sabha.

However, Ambedkar’s onslaught against Pawar and the Congress proved to be a drag on the MVA’s wheels, which needed oil to run at full throttle. Instead, the steam is being used to subdue each other, especially in the wake of Ambedkar’s scathing statements. NCP and Congress are not ready to take Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) along with them for expansion of MVA. He has apparently confined the VBA to the Thackeray camp, which will have to take care of its partner in seat-sharing, and will also keep trying to persuade the MVA partners to absorb Ambedkar despite his strong criticism.

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Ambedkar has time and again proved his nuisance value; The last time was in 2019 when he shaped the VBA and stormed the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Although they lost the Lok Sabha elections, the VBA made a dent in the anti-BJP vote share in several seats, thus benefiting the BJP and the Shiv Sena (combined). Fielding people from underprivileged sections (among communities) in the elections is expected to continue Ambedkar’s agenda. He says that around 200 families control the politics of the state and this needs to be changed by giving opportunities to new people.

And then Ambedkar has taken the exact opposite stand of the non-BJP parties. They say that the government is not using the investigative agencies. “If I were Modi, I would have done the same. One should be clean to avoid any action and if action is taken then it should be faced. His statement has upset many, including his new ally Sena (UBT). What will Thackeray do now? And how far will his alliance with VBA go? That is the question, if Thackeray still does not want to run the risk of alienating the NCP and the Congress because of Ambedkar. Thackeray is yet to respond to Ambedkar’s reactions and outbursts. If he doesn’t speak soon, politicians will be free to interpret his silence in their own way.

It remains to be seen what mutual benefit Thackeray and Ambedkar derive from going together against the wishes of the two principal partners of the MVA. Knowing Ambedkar, one does not expect him to back down, make blunt attacks or give up his habit of calling the spade a spade.

Dharmendra Jore is the Political Editor of Mid-Day. He tweeted @dharmendrajore
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