AKOLA: Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar Tuesday claimed that at least 10 MLAs of the NCP are in touch with his Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) front in view of the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference here, the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader conceded that the social engineering of the VBA clicked only in Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency, where Imtiyaz Jaleel of the AIMIM defeated Shiv Sena veteran Chandrakant Khaire.
The VBA, founded ahead of the general elections, also comprises the AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi.
"The VBA experimented social engineering in Maharashtra, but it seems to have worked in Aurangabad," he said.
Referring to the poll outcome in Aurangabad, Ambedkar said Muslims have started looking forward to the VBA as a viable alternative to the Congress.
Responding to a query, he said at least 10 MLAs of the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are in contact with the VBA "in view of the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra". "I will speak more on this on June 7," he said while refusing to elaborate.
He said that the VBA would contest all the 288 seats in the assembly polls, due in September-October this year.
"The VBA would play an important role in the assembly elections as well," he said.
The VBA had fielded candidates in all 48 constituencies in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha elections. Ambedkar himself lost from Akola and Solapur seats.
As per data, the VBA split votes of Dalits and Muslims in some seats, resulting into defeat of nominees of the Congress and the NCP.