New Delhi: Hours after reports emerged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress party were on the verge of announcing a seat-sharing alliance, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday confirmed, “No question of allying with AAP.”
Speaking to the media, Congress in-charge for Delhi, Sheila Dikshit added that an unanimous decision was taken at a party meet to not enter into a pre-poll alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party.
This comes close to the AAP announcing candidates for six out of seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital on March 2.
It was widely believed that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi convened a meeting on Tuesday, presumably to mull options of a tie-up with AAP.
Read: Congress Holds Meeting, Decides Not to Ally With AAP For Lok Sabha Elections in Delhi
Earlier while announcing the Aam Aadmi Party’s candidates on March 2, senior leader Gopal Rai had hinted at pre-poll fallout with the Grand Old Party, he said, “On February 13, when Congress President Rahul Gandhi met AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal at a meeting of opposition leaders, he (Gandhi) rejected the alliance.”
Reportedly, AAP wanted to give only two out of seven seats to Congress, whereas the Congress party was not wiling to negotiate below three.
AAP fielding candidates for six seats was also seen as a pressure tactic, to lure or scare Congress, with at least three nominees known to be ‘political heavyweights’ in the Delhi power corridor, sources privy to the party said.
The Aam Aadmi Party announced its poll strategy on March 2. “The party has decided to field Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Dilip Pandey from North East Delhi, Atishi from East Delhi, Brajesh Goel from New Delhi, Gugan Singh from North West Delhi and Raghav Chadha from South Delhi,” AAP’s Delhi Convenor Gopal Rai said.
“A few names have been considered for West Delhi. The party will announce the candidate in the next few days,” Rai said.
Of the six candidates who have been named, Atishi, the only woman, Chadha, Pandey and Gupta have been long-time associates of Kejriwal, who took power in Delhi in February 2015 after leading the AAP to a stunning win that gave it 67 of the Assembly’s 70 seats.
With inputs from Ravi Tripathi