Once, Maharastra was the bastion of the Congress party. But in 2014, Congress lost this economically & agriculturally powerful state to the BJP. After Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra is the second-largest state in terms of Lok Sabha seats. Since its defeat in 2014, the Congress is desperately trying to win Maharastra back & to regain this state, and the Rahul Gandhi-led party is ready to use all tricks including “saam-daam-dand-bhed”.
Maharastra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, of which the Congress currently holds only 2. One can get a sense of the desperation of the Congress party from the fact that they are ready to make an alliance with almost any and all anti-Saffron forces. The grand old party is trying to form a Mahagathbandhan of all 'like-minded' parties in Maharashtra. Top leaders of the state's Congress committee are in touch with at least 9 smaller parties including CPI, SP, BSP, Raju Shetty's Swabhimani Shetkari Sangh, and others. The agenda is to stop the division of anti-BJP votes. Senior Congress leaders were also in touch with Prakash Ambedkar as he has a good hold on Dalit voters of Maharashtra. But the alliance talks between them failed.
The Congress' failure has turned into someone else's win, however. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi grabbed the opportunity & sent a proposal to Prakash Ambedkar saying he should lead the Dalit-Muslim movement in Maharastra. Without wasting any time, Prakash Ambedkar gave the green signal to Owaisi & agreed to an alliance in Maharastra.
On the lines of Uttar Pradesh, the Congress wants to form a grand alliance to stop the division of anti-BJP votes. Muslims & Dalits are believed to be traditional voters of the Congress. But in recent years the AIMIM has successfully managed to make inroads in Muslim votebank areas. AIMIM is present almost at all the places where Muslim voters are in huge numbers. And it is the same with Prakash Ambedkar. In the last four years, the popularity of Prakash Ambedkar in the Dalit community has increased very rapidly. He has led a number of agitations over Dalit atrocities. For all these reasons and more, Prakash Ambedkar's party Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh & Owaisi’s AIMIM are likely to play a key factor in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
Jai Bheem - Jai Meem could be a deadly combination which may deeply hurt the Congress’s Dalit-Muslim core vote bank. On October 2, Owaisi & Prakash Ambedkar will address a huge public gathering in Aurangabad.