Mumbai : The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) on Wednesday led by Prakash Ambedkar has said that it will not go as an ‘uninvited guest’ to the seat-sharing talks of the Opposition alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) scheduled to be held here on Thursday.
VBA Spokesperson Siddharth Mokale said that his party has “not yet received a formal invite” for the discussions among the MVA allies, Congress-Shiv Sena (UBT)-Nationalist Congress Party (SP).
“We have not received any letter or invitation so far… we will not go there until we get an official invite signed by the leaders of all the three (MVA) parties,” Mokale told the mediapersons.
The statement came hours after Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut told the media on Wednesday morning that the VBA has been invited to join the MVA’s seat-sharing talks for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai on Thursday.
A Congress leader said that the VBA is an ally of Shiv Sena (UBT) and the latter must have invited them for talks, to which the grand old party had no objections.
Frowning at the goings-on, Mokale said that though the VBA-Shiv Sena (UBT) are allies, “Raut should not exploit the situation”.
Mokale made it clear that the VBA is keen to be a part of the MVA as well as the national opposition INDIA bloc but so far it has been kept out of both.
Ambedkar recently wrote to the Congress on the issue which has not responded yet, prompting the VBA to warn that it would contest all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
“Raut must explain why the Congress is avoiding direct talks with the VBA. Has the Congress given its Power of Attorney to Raut to negotiate with us on behalf of MVA-INDIA groups,” asked an irked Mokale.
He reiterated the VBA’s stance that in order to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “it was imperative for all the Opposition parties to unite” for the 2024 Parliament polls but the Congress seems to be ‘killing time with new excuses each time’.