Pune, Jan 25 (PTI) Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, who heads the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) that has recently joined hands with the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), on Wednesday said they will contest the upcoming elections together even if nobody else comes on board, and also expressed confidence that they would form a government.
The Sena (UBT) and VBA on Monday announced an alliance ahead of civic polls in several cities in Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
Talking to reporters here, Ambedkar said, "We are not interested in becoming a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). We have formed an alliance with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena." The MVA comprises Shiv Sena (UBT), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress. After the tie-up with the VBA, Thackeray had said he has not seen opposition from the Congress and NCP to the inclusion of VBA into the MVA.
Ambedkar said, "I would like to tell that even if nobody comes on board, Sena and VBA will fight together. We will be able to form a government. We have already held seat-sharing talks with Uddhav Thackeray." Asked about the upcoming bypolls to Kasba Peth and Chinchwad Assembly constituencies in Pune district, necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLAs, Ambedkar said they would decide about contesting the election from there.
"We will take a decision about Chinchwad. There is no understanding between Congress and NCP. They need to take a stand. We and Sena will decide about the bypolls further," he said.
The terms of several municipal corporations, including those of Mumbai, Thane, Pune, and municipal councils ended last year but polls could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI COR NP NP