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The Battle for Maharashtra

Ambedkar backs Shiv Sena

October 13, 2004 19:02 IST

The Shiv Sena on Wednesday received support from unexpected quarters with Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader and Dr B R Ambedkar's grandson, Prakash Ambedkar, hinting at "issue-based association" with the saffron party.

"Political rivalry is one thing but on certain issues we are not averse to working with the Sena," Ambedkar said, coming down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party as well Congress for "alienating" the middle class and working class through their economic policies.

Ambedkar, whose party had three MLAs in the 1999 assembly polls, however, was all praise for the Sena for its criticism of the privatisation policy of the National Democratic Alliance government that rendered many jobless.

The Sena leadership may come out with its solution to ward off the ill-effects of privatisation, Ambedkar hoped.

The Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, a splinter Republican Party of India group, is contesting 83 seats and was an former ally of the Congress before the three of its MLAs switched loyalties to the latter.

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