Prakash Ambedkar, president of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) warned on Tuesday that the parliamentary system in India is in danger and all those who are in a position to oppose the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (BJP-RSS) must join hands to save democracy in the country.
Ambedkar is the grandson of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Along with Vice-President Rekha Thakur and other senior leaders, he said that parliamentary democracy gives equal representation to people from all walks of life and has empowered the common masses of the country.
Ambedkar pointed out that “it is because of the parliamentary democratic system that the leader of any small regional party is enabled to become the Chief Minister of that state. If parliamentary democracy survives, then the political parties will exist and the power of the people will remain.”
He warned that in case the parliamentary system is replaced with a presidential system, then power will go into the hands of a limited few people belonging to the upper castes. Ambedkar was addressing the media after the core committee meeting of the VBA.
Ambedkar urged that to guard against this, all the parties which are in a position to challenge the BJP-RSS should unite and contest the 2024 elections jointly to safeguard parliamentary democracy. This comes in the backdrop of the just-declared poll outcome in five states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram. Out of these five, the BJP has bagged three states with comfortable wins.
With reference to the 11-month alliance with Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally Shiv Sena-UBT, headed by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Ambedkar said that the latter has not broached the topic of seat-sharing with the MVA so far.
He pointed out that accordingly, even the Shiv Sena-UBT and VBA cannot discuss any seat-distribution between themselves on the purported delays on the issue in relation to the MVA and INDIA.
Meanwhile, Ambedkar reiterated that “the ball is now in the Shiv Sena-UBT’s court”, clarifying that unless they take a decision on seat-sharing soon, “the VBA will contest all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra independently”.
History And Background
On 1 January 2018, the name “Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi” was firstly used in a convention held by the Dhangar community people at Pandharpur, Maharashtra. The convention was presided over by Prakash Ambedkar. Around 100 small political parties and social organizations have participated in this convention.
In June 2018, a decision was taken to constitute a political party — the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi — by all pro-progressive parties in a meeting in the presence of Prakash Ambedkar, Laxman Mane, Haridas Bhade and Vijay More. “There will be the inclusion of all progressive parties in this front (VBA), and this political front will be led by the eminent leader Prakash Ambedkar and existence of each progressive party shall be upheld”. In this way, Prakash Ambedkar explained the doctrine of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi. Later, on 20 May 2018, Ambedkar established the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi.
On 15 March 2019, Ambedkar asserted that the Election Commission of India has announced the list of registered parties in India, and “Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi” has been recognized as a registered political party. On 28 September 2018, the first session of the VBA was held at Solapur and resulted in agreement from the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen to form a coalition.