There was a time in Indian politics when it was unbelievable to imagine that someday Mayawati and Akhilesh will come together or that Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi would join hands with Chandrababu Naidu. But as they say, no one is a permanent friend or enemy in politics.
Under the common agenda of defeating Narendra Modi, almost all arch rivals are forgetting their differences and joining hands with each other.
One such incident voters have been witnessing in Maharashtra is AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi publicly admitting that he is ready to compromise with Congress if they give respectable seats to Prakash Ambedkar's party in Mahagathbandhan.
While addressing a rally in Nanded, Owaisi had said, "You say, you can talk with Prakash Ambedkar but not with the MIM.. listen Rahul Gandhi, listen Ashok Chavan, I am speaking with full conviction, responsibility and with full seriousness to Rahul Gandhi and 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. Whatever seats you will give him .. Asaduddin Owaisi will praise you in a separate meeting... I will not even come on your dais... tell me Ashok Chavan... Are you ready? You speak big things .. today I am giving you an offer, We do not need a single seat, You just give that many seats to my elder brother Balasaheb Ambedkar which suits to his stature and respect”.
Owaisi’s open admission to support Congress if they give respectable place to Prakash Ambedkar in a possible grand alliance in Maharashtra has surprised many as both Congress and Owaisi’s party are arch rivals. In fact, it was because of Owaisi, Congress’ core Muslim vote bank has been divided into two parts. Owasi has successfully managed to establish his party MIM in Muslim dominated areas of Maharashtra which is traditionally considered as a stronghold of the Congress. When Owaisi’s party is gradually performing well in many Muslim dominated areas of the state then in such case the bigger question is what could be the reason because of which Owaisi surrendered and ready to compromise with Congress?
Before we decode this question, let us tell you that despite announcing an alliance with MIM, Prakash Ambedkar has kept talks on with Congress, NCP to be part of mahagathbandhan. Prakash Ambedkar has demanded 12 seats but Congress is ready to give him only two seats as Prakash Ambedkar’s party has a limited presence in many parts of the state. Prakash Ambedkar was thinking that by threatening to go ahead with MIM he can create pressure on the Congress party. But a section of Congress was adamant to not to give more than 2 seats to Ambedkar.
Even though Owaisi has said that he is sacrificing for Prakash Ambedkar who is the grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar but the Congress, sources claim that Owaisi does not have any other option than taking this step. It's almost certain that the upcoming Loksabha election will be fought between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. There is a perception that traditional Muslim vote bank will go with Congress as they will not want BJP to come in power again. Traditional Muslims' vote bank of Congress knows that if their votes get
divided then directly or indirectly it will benefit the BJP. In the last assembly election of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, we had seen that how voters of both the states had rejected Owaisi’s party MIM. Though BJP believes that women Muslim voters will vote to Modi on triple talaq issue.
Owaisi clearly knows that even if his party contest in Maharashtra then they might face the biggest defeat in the state where they are slowly gaining grounds in Muslim-Dalit pockets. Owaisi believes that he can’t win more seats in Maharashtra on just Muslim vote bank, he needs Dalits as well who are in large number in Maharashtra. That's the reason MIM has given ‘Jai Bheem - Jai Meem’ slogan. With this slogan, Owaisi has already made it clear that with Dalit-Muslim combination he will take his party forward.
Owaisi’s eye is on upcoming Maharashtra assembly election. Currently, MIM has two MLAs in the state. By publicly announcing that he is sacrificing for Prakash Ambedkar's respect, Owaisi has killed two birds with one stone. By not contesting an election in the state, he saves his party from possible humiliation and also gained the sympathy of lakhs of Dalit voters who worship Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Owasi cleverly trapped Prakash and Congress in his googly. After Owaisi’s announcement, the Congress is in dilemma. As MIM is out so Congress has to give more seats to Prakash Ambedkar but they are not ready for it. Prakash has demanded 12 seats out of 48. Congress’s offer of 2 seats would not be respectful for Prakash Ambedkar.
In such case, the question is whether Prakash Ambedkar will accept two seats offer or will he again come back to MIM and what will Congress do now which was saying from the first day that they are ready to accommodate Prakash Ambedkar but minus MIM. Will Congress fulfill Prakash Ambedkar's demand?
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