Maharashtra: Three Tables that ask whether Prakash Ambedkar’s VBA will tilt the 2024 balance

Will the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA)’s predictable decision to go it alone again in 2024 tilt the balance for or against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) or the NDA? Three Tables that probe the figures and present an analysis. This special analysis by the Sabrangindia Team gives lays bare the figures. How will this impact the outcome?

For the past several months, the political moves of Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar– the iconic leader who headed the Committee for the Drafting of the Indian Constitution and is independent India’s first Law & Justice Minister – – have been in the news, especially in Maharashtra. Speculation has been rife around where the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) led by the grandson, would go –with the INDIA alliance or independently in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Finally, close to ten days ago, Prakash Ambedkar, the penny dropped and Prakash Ambedkar of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) announced that the VBA has decided to go it alone (again) this Lok Sabha Election, 2024. In all, his party will (as of April 12) contest 36 seats out of the total 48 seats in Maharashtra; VBA has declared support for the Congress in Nagpur and Kolhapur and the NCP (Sharad Pawar) in Baramati. Since then Ambedkar’s twitter account has been closely followed by political pundits as he does what he is best at needling the secular opposition while smattering his social media handle with some posts that suggest that he is also a critique of the majoritarian and saffron RSS-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This analysis will not deal with this public posturing of the VBA –whose combination of sections of the Dalit and Muslim votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections had secured a fair percentage of the Maharashtrian vote. The social media posts and provocations being put out every day on “X” and other platforms are there for public view. This analysis will deal with only the figures, and detail how many votes the VBA had pulled in the 35 seats that it had contested in 2019. These figures could have some implications for the upcoming poll results, if and only if the Dalit segments and partial Muslim base stays, again, this time with the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).

Maharashtra’s 48 seats have been spread over five of the seven phases of the polls this time, cynics say with a particular design by the ruling Modi regime, who is ably assisted by a compliant Election Commission of India (ECI).

While five seats in Vidharbha will go to the polls on April 19 (Ramtek, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Chandrapur), another eight seats from Vidharbha and Marathwada vote on April 26 (Buldanha, Akola, Amravati, Wardha, Yavatmal-Washim, Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani). Thereafter 11 of the balance 35 seats vote on May 7 (Raigad, Baramati, Osmanabad, Latur, Solapur, Madha, Sangli, Satara, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Kolhapur, Hatkanangle), another 11 seats (Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Raver, Jalna, Aurangabad, Maval, Pune, Shirur, Ahmednagar, Shirdi, Beed) and finally 13 seats go to the polls on the last day of polling in the state on May 20. These are Dhule, Dindori, Nashik, Palghar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Thane, Mumbai-North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai-South. Two more phases of polling take place in other parts of the country on May 25 and June 1, before the day of counting on June 4, 2024.

Sabrangindia, with the help of an expert, analysed the voter share of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, in many of the seats where the VBA had contested, also independently in 2019. The table below details all of these. The table indicates how many total votes were polled, how many the VBA polled and the percentage of the votes that the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi polled of the votes polled and the total votes in that seat.

For instance, in the three seats in the first phase of voting where the VBA is contesting this time in 2024, if we analyse 2019 figures the VBA garnered a significant 9.75 per cent of the total polled votes in Gadchiroli Chimur which were 1142698. This number was however 7.04 % of the total votes in that constituency which were then at 1581366, still a significant number. In the Chandrapur Parliamentary Constituency, VBA polled a high 9.05 % of the polled votes and 5.86 % of the total votes (which stood in 2019 at 1910188) while in Bhandara-Gondiya it pulled in less support with 3.68% of the polled votes and 2.53 % of the total votes (which were 1811556).

The Table I below explains this:

Table I: Sabrangindia Analysis: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi 2019 Figures in three seats where it is contesting and which go to the polls on Friday, April 19, 2024 (First Phase)

In a similar exercise, the Sabrangindia Election Analysis team has analysed the total votes polled by the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, in 2019 in

the same 35 seats that it is contesting this time round:  This second also indicates how many total votes were polled in 2019, how many the VBA polled and the percentage of the votes that the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi polled of the votes polled and the total votes in that seat, all in 2019, the last Parliamentary Elections.

Table II: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi
2019 Election VBA voting percentage (35 Seats)

Table II: Sabrangindia Analysis of Total Votes Polled and Vote Share Vis a Vis Vanchit Bahujan Agadi

As a sampler, among the significant votes polled and vote share in Maharashtra (the marker being these 35 seats) the top five in vote share in votes polled and percentage were Akola (where Prakash Ambedkar himseld contested) Solapur, Hingoli, Buldhana and Parbhani.  Among the six seats in Mumbai too in four seats VBA is contesting this time, it drew some votes last time (see Table II).

In Akola for instance of the total votes registered in 2019 which were 1865169, only 1119440 persons actually voted. This means that as many as 7,45,729 persons actually did not vote. Of those that voted, VBA garnered a handsome 24.91 % of the vote which also amounted to 14.95 % of the vote polled in Akola that parliamentary election.

Similarly, in Solapur of the total of 1851654 votes (as the Table above shows), only 10841654 persons voted. VBA accounted for 15.68% of the polled votes and 9.18 % of the registered vote. In Hingoli, of the total of 1733729 votes registered in 2019, only 1157516 persons voted. The VBA commanded 15.04 % of the polled vote which was 10.30 % of the total 2019 registered vote. In Buldhana, the registered vote in 2019 was 1762918 and votes polled that parliamentary election were 1120359. Of these VBA polled 172627 votes which amounts to 15.41 % of the polled vote and 9.79 % of the total vote in that constituency.  In Parbhani in Marathwada, of the total registered votes in 2019 which were 1985228, the number of persons who voted was 1252782. Of the votes polled, VBA pulled in 149946 votes which is a significant 11.97 per cent of the votes polled and 7.55 per cent of the total registered 2019 vote in Parbhani.

Three Ambedkar brothers, three paths

Apart from Prakash Ambedkar, the presence if Anandraj Ambedkar in the electoral fray has gone unnoticed. Chief of the “Republican Sena”, this Ambedkar sibling will now fight on a VBA ticket from Amravati. This puts an end to the bickering between Republican forces at least in that constituency. Another prother, Bhimrao Ambedkar will contest from Punjab on an Independent Party ticket. Bhimrao Ambedkar, like Prakash Ambedkar and Anandraj Ambedkar of the Ambedkar family, who has also formed his own independent political party, the ‘Enlightened Republican Party’ will now contest from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. Bhimrao Ambedkar is the National Working President of Indian Buddhist Mahasabha. But he too has duly registered his independent political party with the Election Commission. Leaving Maharashtra to both Prakash Ambedkar and Anandraj Ambedkar, it seems that he emphasized on expanding his party in other states. This has been conveyed by him through a letter to his party office bearers in all states. He has also called for applications from his workers who are willing to contest the elections. Conclusion: Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, Anandraj Ambedkar’s Republican Sena and Bhimrao Ambedkar’s Enlightened Republican Party have been established and operated by the three Ambedkar brothers from the same Ambedkar family. Apart from that, three parties namely Republican Party of India, Bharip-Bahujan Federation and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi have been registered in the name of Prakash Ambedkar alone.

Prakash Ambedkar is contesting from Akola in Maharashtra, Anandraj Ambedkar is contesting from Amravati and Bhimrao Ambedkar is contesting Lok Sabha election from Punjab. Offices of the three parties are located in Mumbai (VBA), Pune (Republican Sena), Surat (Enlightened Republican Party)

Table III Party Vote Share Maharashtra

To enable an informed analysis, Sabrangindia with the help of experts brings its readers Table III (below) which explains the vote share of various political formations in Maharashtra, including VBA and even BSP. Other parameters are the winning and losing percentages in these seats, an overwhelming number of which were won by the 2019 saffron combine of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and united Shiv Sena. Post 2019 political equations shifted in the state with not just the Shiv Sena first breaking away from the alliance (October 2019) but the SS itself splitting into the Eknath Shinde SS and SS (Uddhav Balasaheb Thavkeray). The National Congress Party (NCP) has also split with the Ajit Pawar faction teaming up with the BJP. Hence this Table needs to be read in the light of these developments.


Table III: Sabrangindia Analysis of Total Votes Polled and Vote Share of Different Political Formations in Maharashtra



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