Mumbai, January 17: Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar has written to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stating that he will participate in Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra only if VBA is invited to join the INDIA bloc and the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance. Ambedkar made his position clear in a letter addressed to Gandhi after the former was invited to join the Yatra, which started from Manipur on Sunday.

He stated the VBA has not been included in the INDI Alliance or the Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra despite repeated communication with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge. "I conditionally accept the invitation for your Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. It would be difficult for me to join your yatra without the long-awaited invitation to join both INDIA and MVA," Ambedkar wrote. ‘All Not Well’ in Maharashtra: Seat-Sharing Formula Eludes Leaders; Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi Plays Spoiler

Without an invitation (to MVA) to join the INDIA bloc and MVA, participating in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will lead to speculation of an alliance, which has not been materialised, and will have negative implications, he added. "Hence, we stress that you invite VBA to INDIA and MVA as well," Ambedkar said. The Shiv Sena (UBT) and Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had said the opposition in Maharashtra wants to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as an INDI alliance by taking VBA and Left parties on board, as it would help prevent vote fragmentation. Lok Sabha Election 2024: Prakash Ambedkar's VBA Eyes 25% Share of Seats in Maharashtra

Ambedkar, grandson of B R Ambedkar, has often expressed his displeasure at the Congress dragging its feet over inducting the VBA into the Opposition camp. The VBA has joined hands with Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena (UBT) in Maharashtra. The Rahul Gandhi-led Yatra will pass through 100 Lok Sabha constituencies in 15 states. It will traverse 6,713 km, mostly in buses but also on foot, and culminate in Mumbai on March 20 or 21.