Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Prakash Ambedkar accuses Mahayuti, MVA of excluding Muslim candidates

15 April,2024 01:22 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

In the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2024, neither alliance has fielded any Muslim candidates, however, VBA has nominated a few nominees.

Prakash Ambedkar/ X

Prakash Ambedkar, the head of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), has criticised both the ruling and opposition parties in Maharashtra for failing to include any Muslim candidates in the fray for Lok Sabha Elections 2024. He emphasised that neither the ruling MahaYuti nor the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi have nominated any Muslim candidates thus far.

In the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2024, neither alliance has fielded any Muslim candidates, however, VBA has nominated a few nominees. In previous elections, the Congress ran one Muslim candidate in Akola but was unsuccessful, reported IANS.

Ambedkar, per the IANS report, said, "If the MVA has to exclude Muslims - like the BJP - then what is the difference between the two…? On Bhim Jayanti Day, I am raising this point on inclusion and exclusion." He also raised concerns about why the media had not addressed the issue either.

There is considerable pressure among Congress, NCP (SP), and smaller parties to nominate at least one Muslim candidate to ensure minority representation, especially in districts with a large Muslim population, such as Mumbai North-Central, the IANS report stated.

Per the news agency, amid deliberation for a candidate who will contest from the Mumbai North Central seat, rumour mills are abuzz that Congress is considering naming former state minister and Congress Working President M Arif Naseem Khan for the seat.

Despite senior party leaders, per the agency report, declining to comment officially on the issue, they highlighted that the grand-old party had been nominating leaders from all minority communities including Muslims to both houses of the Parliament regularly since Independence.

Although Maharashtra has an average Muslim population of 18 per cent, particular constituencies have larger Muslim populations, which influences the political landscape.

Subsequently, Ambedkar tore into both--the BJP and Congress for circulating false information and propaganda about him and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and claimed that they were afraid of the VBA's growing power.

"Both these anti-Dalit, anti-tribals, anti-OBC and anti-Muslim parties have realised the power of the VBA, hence the desperate attempts to malign me and our party. So much fear!... It shows how much they are afraid of the VBA. Their fear explains that they want to keep the voice of the deprived and marginalized (VBA) away from power," the seasoned politician was quoted as saying in IANS report.

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Prakash Ambedkar Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi maharashtra Maha Vikas Aghadi Eknath Shinde Lok Sabha Elections 2024 2024 lok sabha elections
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