The Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi on Wednesday released its list of eight candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, indicating that the Prakash Ambedkar-led party will not join the state’s Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi, which was formed after the 2019 Assembly elections, mainly comprises Uddhav Thackeray’s faction of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party group.

However, the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi on Wednesday said that it would support the Congress’ candidate for the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat. Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Bhimrao Ambedkar, will contest from the Akola constituency.

Earlier in the day, Prakash Ambedkar had announced an alliance with activist Manoj Jarange-Patil, who has led an agitation demanding reservations in education and government jobs for the Maratha community under the Other Backward Classes category, The Hindu reported.

In January, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut had announced the induction of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi into the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

On March 19, the Prakash Ambedkar-led party had offered to support the Congress in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra.

Prakash Ambedkar said that he had lost faith in the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) because of their “unequal attitude” toward his party.

He added that both parties had “refused to listen to the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi’s representatives in the numerous Maha Vikas Aghadi meetings”. “Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi’s prime agenda remains the same – unseat the fascist, divisive, undemocratic Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh government,” he had said.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the parent organisation of the BJP.

On March 23, the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi had said that it had called off its alliance with the Thackeray’s faction of the Shiv Sena, PTI reported. Prakash Ambedkar said that his party was offered only three seats. Raut, however, said that discussions were still ongoing between the two groups.

The elections to Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats will be held in five phases from April 19 to May 20. Counting of votes will take place on June 4.