Congress-AAP to tie up for Delhi; 'talks on with Mamata'

On Thursday, AAP minister Atishi Singh said that “the talks are on and we are hopeful of closing the deal”.
(L) West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee touring Cooch Behar district. (R) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the 'Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra in Araria Bihar.
(L) West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee touring Cooch Behar district. (R) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the 'Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra in Araria Bihar.(File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: After stitching an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in UP, the Congress reached a seat-sharing deal with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.

Of the seven seats in Delhi, AAP would contest four and the Congress three. Both parties agreed to share seats in Gujarat, Goa, Chandigarh and Haryana as well. Their joint statement is expected on Friday.

Though seat-sharing talks have been through ups and downs, a Congress leader said the situation changed after the intervention of the party’s top leadership on Wednesday.

According to the latest formula, the Congress may contest from East Delhi, Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi while AAP may enter the fray from New Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi, and North West Delhi. While the state units of both parties have been resistant to the idea of an alliance, it was learnt that the Congress top brass asked its local leaders to have a ‘realistic view’ of the situation.

All seven seats in Delhi are currently with the BJP. In terms of vote share, the Congress came second in five seats and AAP second in two during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. On Thursday, AAP minister Atishi Singh said that “the talks are on and we are hopeful of closing the deal”.

Sources said that an agreement has been reached that the AAP will contest from Bharuch and Bhavnagar in Gujarat. The party has already named its candidates Chaitar Vaisava and Umesh Bhai Makwana, for these seats. The Congress is pitching for Chandigarh’s lone seat, which is held by the BJP. In Haryana, the Congress will cede one seat to the AAP.

As for Goa, the Congress will fight in both the seats. Though AAP had earlier announced that Venzy Viegas would fight from South Goa, it will now withdraw him. In Punjab, both the Congress and AAP will contest separately in all 13 seats. Kejriwal told the media on Wednesday that the decision to go solo in Punjab was mutually agreed upon.

Meanwhile, NDTV reported that talks are on with Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.

"The Congress, on a roll after sealing seat sharing deals with Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, is aiming for a hat-trick, with a new formula for Mamata Banerjee," the report said.

Quoting party sources, it added, that the party is "hoping to get five of Bengal's 42 seats. The downside - as in deals with AAP and SP -- the Congress may have to part with seats in states where it is the main Opposition. This could involve two seats in Assam and one in Meghalaya."

(With inputs from Online Desk)

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com