Delhi Congress says no to poll alliance with AAP

Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit on Friday reiterated her opposition to an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Published: 02nd March 2019 10:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2019 10:52 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Sheila Dikshit, working presidents Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav, and Rajesh Lilothia, and other senior party leaders gathered for a meeting at Dikshit’s residence on Friday | Parveen Negi

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit on Friday reiterated her opposition to an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. She made her stand clear after holding deliberations with state leaders at her residence in the afternoon. “We (Delhi Congress leaders) held a meeting today as we normally do. During the meeting, the issue of a possible alliance with the AAP was discussed. It was unanimously resolved not to have tie-up with them. I will convey the sentiments of the state leadership to (PC) Chackoji tomorrow,” Dikshit said.

Party sources said the Delhi leaders met following the directions of the high command to review their decision about an alliance with AAP. “A section of the Central leadership is in favour of contesting elections with AAP. Allies of the mahagathbandhan, such as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, and Sharad Pawar also favour a Congress-AAP alliance. PC Chacko asked the Delhi leadership to have second thoughts over the matter. Hence the Friday meeting was convened at Dikshit’s residence,” said a Delhi Congress functionary.

However, Dikshit said there was no direction from the party leadership in this regard.

Present in the meeting at Dikshit’s residence were 21 state leaders, including former Delhi MPs, MLAs and ministers—Jai Prakash Aggrawal, Sandeep Dikshit, Mahabal Mishra, Arvidner Singh Lovely, Kiran Walia, and others.

Soon after taking over as the Delhi unit’s chief in January, Dikshit, a three-time chief minister of Delhi, had said that the Congress was not interested in having a tie-up with AAP. The local Congress leadership, including former Delhi Congress chiefs Ajay Maken and Arvinder Singh Lovely, and current working president Haroon Yusuf, have been vocal against a tie-up with AAP.

During a public meeting recently, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said he was tired of trying to persuade the Congress to agree to an alliance.A senior Congress leader said it was not wise to have any association with a party that had inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Congress.

Yusuf, who attended the meeting on Friday, expressed similar sentiments. He said all leaders were of the view that if the Congress went with the AAP in the elections, it would hurt the party’s future prospects. “We should not forget that ours is a national party and AAP is present in just two states. Whenever Kejriwal is in trouble, he talks about an alliance. When he comes out of the situation, he starts criticizing others,” said a former Delhi minister. 

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