MUMBAI: Just days after his tieup with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena (UBT), Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar has claimed there was nothing wrong with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s use of central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). According to him, “he would have done the same to consolidate his position.”
This innocuous little statement has created quite a ripple in Maharashtra’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), a coalition of Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). It’s no secret that this coalition’s raison d’etre is its opposition to BJP. And just ten days back, Thackeray’s UBT had forged an alliance with VBA for the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. The Mumbai civic body elections have been due since April 2022.
For the new entrant on its side to speak openly in favour of BJP is something which has not gone down well with NCP and it is now making its aggressive posture clear against Ambedkar. NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto has sought a clarification from Ambedkar on his statement on PM Modi.
“Is Prakash Ambedkar saying that the Centre and the BJP are using the CBI and ED for their political benefit?” asked Crasto.
He further added that the reported statement “If I were Modi, I would do the same to legally save my chair and sustain my party” of Ambedkar becomes a serious allegation because the BJP has consistently maintained that CBI and ED are independent agencies and that they have never misused these agencies for their political benefit.
The comments, made at a time when senior leaders from Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP face ED and CBI cases, have raised questions about whether Ambedkar is serious about his alliance with the Sena and if he has any intention of joining the wider MVA alliance. The alliance is aimed at consolidating dalit votes across Mumbai in the civic polls.
Earlier, a war of words had broken out between Ambedkar and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut when the former had claimed that Sharad Pawar was with BJP.
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