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Mumbai: The Shiv Sena (UBT) and Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi on Monday announced an alliance ahead of civic polls in several cities in Maharashtra. Addressing a joint press conference, Uddhav Thackeray said his grandfather Keshav Thackeray and Prakash Ambedkar’s grandfather, legendary social icon and jurist B R Ambedkar, were contemporaries who admired each other and worked to eradicate social evils and bad practices.
“The inheritors of these two leaders, and people around them, have come together to protect the country’s interest. We are coming together to ensure democracy is alive,” Thackeray said.
Without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is ruling in Maharashtra as well as at the Centre, Thackeray said the country is heading towards autocracy.
Thackeray also dared the powers-thatbe to hold Assembly polls in Maharashtra at the earliest. The state is being ruled by a faction of the Sena that broke away in June last year and the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Thackeray group has routinely called it a dispensation of “traitors”.
Speaking about the alliance, Ambedkar said the coming together of the VBA and Shiv Sena (UBT) was the start of the “politics of change”.