Sheila Dikshit meets Sonia Gandhi, sets off AAP alliance speculation again

A state unit functionary said the two leaders, possibly, had a one-on-one discussion over joining hands with AAP for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Published: 10th March 2019 04:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2019 09:28 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit on Saturday met United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi here, setting off a round of speculation regarding a poll alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

A state unit functionary said the two leaders, possibly, had a one-on-one discussion over joining hands with AAP for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) allies are putting pressure on us to stitch a coalition with AAP. Recently, Farooq Abdullah, chairman of the National Conference, confronted Dikshit at a wedding in New Delhi. He asked why she was against the tie-up. Later, he also talked to Rahulji on the issue and reportedly suggested an alliance. Dikshit’s meeting with Soniaji today is the outcome of that conversation with Abdullah and Rahulji,” said a Delhi Congress leader.

Dikshit, last week, announced her opposition to an alliance with AAP. After a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the same issue, she had said it was unanimously decided that there would be no alliance.  

Dikshit refused to reveal details of Friday’s meeting, but added that neither had discussed the alliance.
“There was no point discussing it because Rahulji already made his stand clear on the subject. I met Soniaji privately.  She is my leader... I will not respond to rumours,” she said.   

The development assumes significance as Congress leaders say the final decision on an electoral pact with AAP will be taken in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the date for which is not yet known.      
After meeting Sonia, Dikshit met Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) leaders.

“A section of Delhi leaders, including PC Chacko and former president Ajay Maken, are also in favour of an alliance,” the leader said.

“We don’t want to comment on their internal matters,” said AAP’s spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj.     

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