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Election 2019

Deve Gowda could be “dark horse” for PM post: Ambedkar

Mumbai |Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar Thursday claimed neither Narendra Modi nor Rahul Gandhi will become the next prime minister and someone from the “Third Front” may occupy the coveted post after the elections.

Ambedkar, convener of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), said former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda could be a “dark horse” for the post.

The VBA, a political front floated by Ambedkar and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, contested all the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, where voting ended last month.

Interacting with mediapersons at the Mumbai Press Club, the grandson of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar sounded confident about the VBA doing well in the elections.

“According to my estimate, no party is going to get a majority and therefore neither Narendra Modi nor Rahul Gandhi will get a chance to become the prime minister.

“Someone from the Third Front may emerge as a surprise candidate to occupy this coveted post. Who will be PM is a wild guess as of now. But I foresee Deve Gowda could be a dark horse for the Prime Minister’s post,” he said.

Ambedkar said the JDS leader from Karnataka will be an acceptable PM candidate for the non-BJP and non-Congress parties.

“The BJP is not going to get a majority and in that case, Modi will not become the prime minister. On the other hand, the Congress has rivals in each state and heads of regional parties in those states will not accept a prime minister from the Congress party,” the former MP claimed.

The Dalit leader said the BJP will get 148-200 Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress’s tally will be around 100.

The rest of the seats will be shared by regional parties and outfits like the VBA.

Talking about his own outfit’s performance, he said the VBA has “succeeded” in getting the support of new generation of Muslim voters, which is quite encouraging.

“We could form a Dalit-Muslim aghadi (front),” he said, adding the Lok Sabha poll outcome will have a bearing on the Maharashtra assembly elections slated for later this year.

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