It appears that the Maharashtra Congress is in trouble as it's coveted ally Prakash Ambedkar's Bhrip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) has given an ultimatum to agree to its seat-sharing demands for the Lok Sabha polls.
The BBM has decided to contest on 12 seats in Maharashtra for the general elections. While deciding on a coalition with the Congress it had asked for 12 seats, but the Congress had put its foot down.
On Wednesday, Ambedkar gave an ultimatum to the party, "I want to tell the Congress that it should give Jamate-i-Islamic Maharashtra head Moulana Siddiqui the seat sharing proposal by January 30 in writing as I will not accept oral proposal. The discussion should go in the decision phase or else we will take a meeting of the BBA and take appropriate decision."
Congress needs both Ambedkar and AIMIM to garner Dalit and Muslim support. In Congress’s ambitious 'mahagathabandhan', they are trying to bring in all those parties together who have held on Dalits, minorities, OBCs, and another secular vote banks. Among all these parties, one party is Prakash Ambedkar’s Bhrip Bahujan Mahasangh. Prakash Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Bharat Ratna doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar, has already announced that they will form an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi led all India Majlis-e-Ittehadul- Muslimeen( AIMIM).
Following this, less than a week ago Owaisi, sent an olive branch to Congress saying that he would be open to being a part of the mahgathbandhan in Maharashtra if Congress is willing to give adequate seats to BBM and adding that he will relinquish any demand for seats for his party.
"You say, you can talk with Prakash Ambedkar but not with the AIMIM. Listen Rahul Gandhi, listen Ashok Chavan. I am saying with full conviction, responsibility and full seriousness to Rahul Gandhi & Sharad Pawar that if you have problem with MIM, then I am telling you that you should speak to my elder brother Balasaheb (Prakash) Ambedkar...Give him the seats which he deserves to get....I do not want a single seat....I do not want a single seat...Whatever seats you will give him.....Asaduddin Owaisi will praise you in a separate meeting.....I will not even come on your dias....Tell me Ashok Chavan, are you ready? You speak big things, so today I am giving you an offer...We do not need a single seat. You just give that much seats to my elder brother Balasaheb Ambedkar which suits to his stature and respect," he added.
The Ambedkar-Congress-AIMIM saga has been going on for many days since BBM asked for 12 seats ahead of its coalition with Congress.