Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana has now attacked All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh supremo Prakash Ambedkar, accusing them of helping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by forming an alliance in Maharashtra.
Pointing that Owaisi and Ambedkar had announced that they would jointly contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, an editorial in Saamana said that earlier they used to work for the BJP from behind the curtains, but have now come out in open.
“Prakash Ambedkar and Asaduddin Owaisi have joined hands and declared that they will show their might in 2019 elections. Earlier both of them used to do the politics of favouring the BJP from backstage, but now they will openly work in 2019 to favour the BJP. Their coming together is not a good message for politics in India,” said the Saamana editorial.
Announcing the alliance on Saturday, the AIMIM had said that the idea behind the two parties joining hands was that Dalits, Muslims and OBCs have been ignored for 70 years, have no proper representation in politics and were being treated as vote-banks.
"(BBM chief) Prakash Ambedkar ji will be holding a public rally in Aurangabad on October 2 in which I too will be present. The formal structure of the alliance will be announced later," Owaisi had said on Saturday.
On behalf of the BBM, former MLA Haribhau Bhale said Dalits, Muslims and OBCs were upset with mainstream parties. "There is a growing pressure to form an alternative. Thus, all groups that have been ignored will come together. What shape the alliance will take will be decided by party leaders," he had.
Several parties, including the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), hit out at both the parties over the alliance. While the NCP termed it as “unimpactful”, the Congress called the alliance “unfortunate”.
"It is very unfortunate that Ambedkar ji has to go with a communal party like AIMIM. AIMIM is a party supported by the BJP and drives its agenda. It is saddening to see Ambedkar ji associate himself with such a party," Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that such experiments have been “rejected” in the past. "These experiments were rejected in Nanded last year. People who rejected AIMIM in Nanded, from where it started, want to see the Sena and BJP and BJP defeated," said Malik.
"Why did people reject AIMIM in Nanded and BBM in Bhandara-Gondiya? Such experiments cannot gain any political benefits because people know what to do. They will prefer an alternative to the BJP and Shiv Sena. Nobody is interested in experiments. It will be unimpactful in the state," he added.