MUMBAI: Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) was a major factor that led to the debacle of Congress-NCP during Lok Sabha polls. VBA candidates had deprived the Congress-NCP of their traditional Dalit and Muslim vote banks back then.
Though the AIMIM was not with the VBA in assembly election and most of the Muslim votes appear to have gone to the strong Congress or NCP candidates, the VBA appears to have played a similar game like it did during the Lok Sabha at least on 10 assembly segments.
“Had we tied up with the VBA, we would have had 12 more seats and we could have formed government,” said state Congress spokesperson Raju Waghmare.
A look at the vote tally shows that the VBA has spoiled Congress-NCP chances on at least 10 seats. In Nilanga constituency of Latur district, while the Congress candidate was trailing with a margin of just under 16,000 votes the VBA candidate had bagged over 14,000 votes.
Similar is the case in Buldhana, Nanded, Palghar, Ambarnath (Kalyan), Chandgad (Kolhapur) and Vikroli, Chandivali and Chembur constituencies of Mumbai where the votes bagged by VBA candidates were either almost equal to or more than the losing margin of Congress-NCP candidates.
There can be more such cases, said a senior VBA functionary saying that the Dalit community still has anger for the way Congress has ditched the community for several years.