Prakash Ambedkar’s Invite to Rahul Gandhi Fuels Speculation of VBA Joining India

Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi president Prakash Ambedkar

The Invite to Rahul Gandhi

Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar has extended an invitation to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to attend the ‘Samvidhan Samman Mahasabha’ in Mumbai on November 25. This has sparked speculation of the VBA joining the Opposition I.N.D.I.A. bloc.

Resurgence of Rahul Gandhi

Mr. Ambedkar praised Mr. Gandhi’s resurgence in contemporary politics, drawing a parallel with his mother, Sonia Gandhi’s role in reviving the Congress in 1998. He also took a dig at NCP chief Sharad Pawar, highlighting VBA’s support for the Congress under Ms. Gandhi.

Invitation to the Event

Inviting Mr. Gandhi to the ‘Samvidhan Samman Mahasabha,’ Mr. Ambedkar emphasized their joint commitment to fight against the RSS-BJP and the importance of honoring the Constitution and India’s founding ideals.

The Change in Tone

Despite previous tensions, Mr. Ambedkar’s latest overture to the Congress has triggered speculation of a thawing between the two parties and the possibility of the VBA entering the INDIA bloc. Relations between Mr. Ambedkar, the Congress, and Mr. Pawar’s NCP have been strained, particularly after the VBA chief’s criticism of the Congress leadership.

Political Alliances and Rivalries

Mr. Ambedkar’s alliance with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, and its alliance with the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction as part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition, has contributed to complexities in political alliances. The reluctance of the Congress and NCP to ally with the VBA can be traced back to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

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Challenges and Criticisms

While Mr. Ambedkar has criticized Sharad Pawar for his “Janus-faced” behavior and opportunism, he has also criticized the Congress for reportedly using marginalized communities as “tissue paper” to be used and thrown away.

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