Virtually putting the Congress on notice over forging an electoral alliance with him, Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar has demanded the party commit to bring the RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP, under the “framework of the Constitution”.
In a letter addressed to Congress’ Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, the Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader stated the “draft to bring the RSS in the framework of Constitution will be the centre of our discussions with the Congress over seat sharing”.
The Congress is keen to bring Ambedkar’s BBM on board in its bid to bring the like-minded parties from Maharashtra together to take on the BJP in Lok Sabha elections.
Ambedkar, however, formed a front named Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) with Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, a development that didn’t go down well with the Congress.
The talks between Ambedkar and the Congress are reportedly stuck over the Dalit leader’s demand for 12 Lok Sabha seats and the Congress’ stand to not tie-up with “communal” AIMIM.
In recent past, Ambedkar had moved a proposal seeking to contest elections with the Congress by his side.
Ambedkar stated: “The RSS propagates Hindutva and thoughts of Manusmriti (ancient Hindu legal text). To keep this country secular, RSS should be brought into the framework of Constitution”.
Ambedkar also wrote the Congress was subtly projecting itself as a soft Hindutva party, which, he said would shrink the space for secular thoughts.
“The party, which once used to follow thoughts of (Mahatma) Gandhi, is now turning out to be a soft Hindutva party,” he stated.
Ambedkar also questionned the “intention” of the state Congress leadership over the “issues” flagged by him.
“Your (Vikhe Patil’s) earlier letter to me has no mention of whether the Central leadership of Congress has approved my proposal of bringing RSS into the framework of Constitution,” Ambedkar wrote.
“It seems that you plan to keep us guessing till last day of nomination and ensure elimination of us from the electoral contest by not taking any decision. I do not know whether it is the policy of the Congress or a strategy of the state leadership,” he said.
Ambedkar also defended his alliance with the AIMIM, which was opposed by the Congress claiming the Owaisi-led party had supported Razakars who had fought against the merger of Hyderabad province with India.
“You (Congress) oppose the AIMIM because of its past but you are ok with the Muslim League which had a direct connection with the partition of India (in 1947). Besides, the AIMIM has already announced that it would not contest Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra to avoid division of anti-BJP votes,” he stated.
Razakars was a private militia of the Nizam of Hyderabad.