NEW DELHI: As the Congress state unit remains divided on stitching up an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, party president Rahul Gandhi is likely to appoint an independent observer to negotiate a solution to the impasse.
“The Central leadership has not openly rejected the possibility of alliance yet. It means the doors are open and before drawing a conclusion, the party would like to weigh all possibilities. Hence, Rahul may nominate an observer to review the ground situation,” said a state Congress leader.
Rahul deliberated on the coalition on Monday with Delhi leaders. It was the second meeting this month and first after a survey of 54,000 grassroots workers carried out by the in-charge of Delhi Congress, PC
Chacko. The survey reportedly favoured an electoral pact with the AAP in Delhi.
Besides Chacko, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Sheila Dikshit, working presidents Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav, and Rajesh Lilothia, former heads of the state unit, Jai Prakash Agrawal, Tajdar Babar, Yoganand Shastri, Ajay Maken, Subhash Chopra and Arvinder Singh Lovely were present in the meeting.
While Chacko, Maken, Lovely, Chopra, and Babar favoured an electoral pact with the AAP, others reiterated their disagreement over forming such a coalition.
A Congress functionary said Rahul directed that all senior leaders must contest the elections irrespective of the decision over the alliance.
“He was told names of those who may not contest if the party decides to go it alone. On this, the Congress president said all senior leaders must contest whether the party forges an alliance or not. Dikshit also questioned the decision of leaders willing to withdraw their claims for a ticket in case no alliance is made. She said it proved that the previous leadership did not work to regain lost ground after the loss in 2015,” he said.
The leader added that uncertainty over a tie-up might also result in a rise in election expenditure.
“We are unable to plan our campaign due to delay in the final decision. No order for campaign material is being placed. The vendors have been coming to us regularly. Ultimately, the party and candidates will have to agree to high prices for last-minute purchases,” he said.