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Sharad Pawar says NCP to win over Dalit voters who backed VBA in Maharashtra Polls

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NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday said he will work to win over those sections of society which turned towards the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi in the recent Maharashtra Assembly polls.

Addressing the NCP’s defeated candidates here, Pawar admitted that the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) hurt his party’s prospects in several constituencies.”I will work in the coming days to bring back the sections of society which went away from us to VBA,” he said.

Till recently, the VBA’s vote base belonged to the NCP, he said, claiming that youths, farmers and minorities voted for his party during the state Assembly polls. “However, despite the hard work, we could not win in some constituencies,” Pawar noted.

He said during the Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year, Dalits and Muslims supported the VBA. But, in the last month’s Maharashtra Assembly polls, Muslims did not support the Ambedkar-led outfit, he claimed.

The NCP chief also stressed the need to strengthen the party organisation, specially in cities like Mumbai and Thane. In the recent polls to 288-member state Assembly, the NCP contested 117 seats and won 54 seats, 13 more than its tally in 2014 when it bagged 41 seats.

After the state poll results were announced on October 24, Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant alleged that VBA ate into the votes of the Congress-NCP and ensured defeat of the opposition alliance in 25 Assembly seats of the state.

The VBA stopped the Congress-NCP from coming to power, he said.


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