Maharashtra politics is going through a new phase of coalition politics. On one side there are estranged partners, the Shiv Sena and BJP, and on the other hand, Rahul Gandhi led Congress party who is trying to forge a grand alliance of 8-10 political parties in Maharashtra.
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). Owaisi’s Maharashtra unit has already coined a term Jai Bheem- Jai Meem.
News of Prakash Ambedkar joining hands with Owaisi has created panic in Congress, as they know that Dalits and Muslims vote bank is very crucial combination and on many seats voters of these two community jointly can change the entire result. That's the reason, Congress is trying to bring in Prakash Ambedkar into their fold. But Prakash Ambedkar’s demand of at least 17 seats has made the Congress party uncomfortable.
Talks of a coalition between both the parties has been stopped since last two months.
According to sources, Congress has denied Prakash Ambedkar’s demand of 17 seats. The delay on coalition talks have miffed Prakash Ambedkar, therefore he has issued an ultimatum to the party. He said “We are open to going with Congress in the next election but the way things are going right now, I don’t see Congress being interested in anything other than drinking coffee with us...I will wait for the results on 11 December and see how Congress reacts after that on our Gathabandhan… we are absolutely clear about our choices and we will not compromise on our choices and needs...Our doors are open to collaborations but maybe situation may change after the upcoming results”.
Prakash Ambedkar's tough stand on coalition talks has clearly given an indication that either Congress finished the coalitions talks as soon as possible or they will go ahead with Owaisi’s party. Congress is waiting for December 11 when the result of 5 state Assembly will be declared. Congress leaders feel that if they win in at least 3 states then they will be in the better position of bargaining.