Mixed signals by AAP on alliance with Congress for 2019 polls

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The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday did not rule out the possibility of joining the  mahagathbandhan, an alliance of non-BJP parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Speaking to reporters, the AAP’s Gopal Rai said that his party will ‘monitor the situation in the country and take a decision accordingly.’

AAP

Rai was answering questions from reporters after the AAP’s National Executive meeting. The topic of AAP’s alliance with the Congress has dominated media headlines for several weeks. Earlier this month, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had said that she was not aware of any talks between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party for an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

She had told a website, “Nobody has spoken to me about it. May be something they may have spoken to you (reporter) in one of your interviews, but certainty not with me. So, I wouldn’t be able to comment on this.”

Gopal Rai’s comments were sharply contradicted by his party colleague and AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, who said that there was no question of joining hands with the Congress. Mann, AAP’s Punjab convener, termed the question of alliance ‘hypothetical’ since his party was in opposition in the Congress-ruled Punjab.

“Have you ever heard of an opposition party joining hands with the one in power? What will we tell people if we joined hands?” Mann was quoted by news agency IANS.

Earlier this month, DMK chief MK Stalin had met Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi and reportedly told him to end his adversarial attitude towards the Congress. Kejriwal had run a bitter campaign against the Congress-led UPA and the then Delhi government led by Sheila Dikshit. The AAP had formed its first government in December 2013 by defeating the Congress. However, this government lasted for just 49 days. Kejriwal won a landslide in February 2015 by securing 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly.

 

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