Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday announced an alliance with the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi led by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar, ahead of Mumbai civic body elections.
“Nation first” and fight against “dictatorial politics” are the main objectives of the alliance, said both Thackeray and Ambedkar while addressing a joint press conference in Mumbai. The event coincided with the birth anniversary of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray.
“My grandfather (Prabodhankar) Keshav Thackeray and Prakash Ambedkar’s grandfather, legendary social icon Dr B R Ambedkar, were contemporaries and worked together to eradicate social evils and bad practices. Now, we both have joined hands to eradicate bad practices in current politics,” said Thackeray.
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“Nation first is our motto and we have come together to ensure democracy is alive,” he said.
Ambedkar came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is destroying the political leadership in the country by using the Enforcement Directorate. Modi is not just trying to finish political leadership of opposition parties but he is doing this in his own party and has destroyed the second line of leadership in the Bharatiya Janata Party”.
“This is not a good sign for any country and democracy. The need of the hour is to fight against such dictatorial regime.” said Ambedkar.
Countering Thackeray, BJP leader Ashish Shelar said: “Uddhav Thackeray who has, all through his life, resorted only to ideological arbitrariness, has no right to talk about the BJP.”
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Ambedkar said the VBA and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) coming together is the beginning of the politics of change. “RSS and its political wing BJP are spreading politics of hatred and negative Hindutva… We will change this politics with accommodative politics and Thackeray’s politics of reformist Hindutva,” he said.
Thackeray also challenged the chief minister Eknath Shinde-led government to declare elections in the state.
The elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation have been due since April 2022.