VBA chief declares end to Shiv Sena (UBT) alliance

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A large number of activists, including former Deputy Mayor Shinde joined the Shiv Sena-UBT in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray at his Shiv Sankalp Yatra in Sambhajinagar….reports Asian Lite News

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar announced on Sunday that the VBA’s alliance with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena has ended. The VBA had previously been part of the INDIA coalition but left due to disagreements over the number of seats allotted for the Lok Sabha elections. Before joining the INDIA alliance, the VBA had formed an alliance with Shiv Sena (UBT).

“It’s (the alliance) broken. There is nothing left in it,” Ambedkar stated when asked about the status of the alliance with Shiv Sena (UBT).

Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr. B R Ambedkar, had contested the Akola Lok Sabha seat but was defeated by BJP’s Anup Dhotre. The Shiv Sena (UBT) and VBA had formalized their alliance in January 2023. Uddhav Thackeray had remarked that his grandfather, Keshav Thackeray (also known as Prabodhankar), and Prakash Ambedkar’s grandfather, B R Ambedkar, were contemporaries who held mutual admiration for each other.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena-UBT leader Chandrakant Khaire, who lost the Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat in the recent elections, on Sunday initially expressed his unhappiness over the inclusion of BJP leader Raju Shinde into the party, holding him responsible for his defeat.

A large number of activists, including former Deputy Mayor Shinde joined the Shiv Sena-UBT in the presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray at his Shiv Sankalp Yatra in Sambhajinagar.

Khaire, in his speech, first seemed to express displeasure over the induction of Shinde into the party, saying that he was responsible for his defeat as he helped his Shiv Sena rival Sandipan Bhumare to win 25,000 votes.

“However, I want to clarify that I am not upset. Now I expect Raju Shinde to do a good job for the party,” he added.

In his address at the event, Thackeray said he deliberately chose Sambhajinagar to launch his state-wide Yatra to tell the “traitors” (the Shinde-led Sena) that the Shiv Sena-UBT will win it next time.

“I am sorry that there is no MP of the Shiv Sena-UBT though it was our winning seat. The (Narendra) Modi government was to win with 400 plus but in Maharashtra, we have brought them (BJP) to 9. I am a fighter, I have come to Sambhajinagar with the desire that I will win again,” he asserted.

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