Mumbai, Maharashtra — Prakash Ambedkar and the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh were written off by most political analysts when they allied with Assaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) shortly before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, as the BBM-AIMIM alliance was called, proved its doubters wrong when the AIMIM’s Imtiyaz Jaleel won the Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat. The alliance also hurt the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party in more than 12 seats.
Owaisi dissolved the alliance months before Maharashtra’s assembly elections, scheduled for October 21, 2019. But Ambedkar has pressed ahead by nominating candidates from every seat.
In an interview with HuffPost India, Ambedkar reveals the reasons why the alliance dissolved so quickly after tasting success, his plans for the elections, and the privilege and responsibility of carrying the famous Ambedkar surname.
Many called you ‘B team of the BJP’ in the 2019 elections. You and the AIMIM emerged as a strong alliance that marred the Congress-NCP chances in many seats. But why has the AIMIM left the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi?
The AIMIM was there with us as a social force. We wanted to help out the left-out class in the country. So it was not a political alliance. Assaduddin Owaisi made it very clear that we will not play vote bank politics nor will we play with seat politics. It was a social alliance.
We had been openly speaking against the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. One week after the parliamentary elections, in which Assaduddin and Imtiyaz got elected, there was a local body election to elect an MLC in Maharashtra. In this election, the corporators of the AIMIM voted for Shiv Sena which disturbed us and Assauddin Owaisi as well.
The AIMIM was unable to explain why this had happened. If Shiv Sena-BJP is our main enemy then you have to...