The Congress has decided against any alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi for this year’s Lok Sabha polls. Quoting sources, NDTV reported that senior leaders PC Chacko and KC Venugopal had conveyed Rahul Gandhi’s decision to Delhi Congress president and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday night.
Dikshit, who turned 81 today, has always been against the alliance with the AAP. When asked about the news, the former Delhi chief minister told news agency ANI, “You will get to know about it in a matter of few hours, by this evening or by tomorrow. There will be an official announcement.”
Dikshit is a three-time chief minister of Delhi and had lost to the AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal in 2013. She had earlier written to Rahul Gandhi that an alliance with the AAP will be detrimental for the Congress in the long run.
One of the reasons for the Congress-AAP tie-up not coming to fruition is believed to be Kejriwal’s refusal to not give more than one seat to the Congress in Delhi. The Congress, according to sources, demanded at least three of the seven parliamentary seats of Delhi.
According to several media reports, NCP leader Sharad Pawar had intervened as a mediator to facilitate the alliance between the Congress and the AAP. Kejriwal had accused Pawar of being a corrupt leader in the past.
The AAP had already announced candidates for six seats in the national capital. One senior AAP leader said on the condition of anonymity that his party was willing to give up Punjab if the Congress agreed to ‘6-1’ plan for Delhi. However, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had already announced his opposition to the idea of an alliance with the AAP in Punjab.