The Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai on Thursday said that his party’s alliance with the Congress was only for the Lok Sabha elections, suggesting that it might go solo in the Assembly elections in the national capital, reported PTI.

The Assembly elections in Delhi are likely to be held early next year.

In the Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party and its INDIA bloc partner the Congress contested all seven seats of the national capital in an alliance. The Congress fielded its candidates from Northeast Delhi, Northwest Delhi and Chandni Chowk constituencies. The Aam Aadmi Party fought the polls from the West Delhi, South Delhi, East Delhi and the New Delhi constituencies.

However, the alliance failed to win any seat in Delhi. The Bharatiya Janata Party won in all seven constituencies.

After a meeting with the party’s senior leaders and MLAs on Thursday, Rai said: “Earlier as well, we made it clear that the alliance with the Congress was only for the general election, and we fought it together with honesty.”

“For the state Assembly elections, there is no need for the INDIA alliance,” Rai was quoted as saying by The Hindu. “We will fight the polls with the help of the people of Delhi, and we will win.”

Speaking about the alliance’s performance in the general elections, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said the sharing deal with the Congress “helped decrease the margin of AAP’s loss”, as compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

In 2019 as well, the BJP had clinched all seven parliamentary seats in the national capital.

Rai said that the elections were fought under “tough circumstances”.

“Reports from across the country show that the people have reacted to the way in which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders of the party were put in jail,” said Rai.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi liquor policy case. He was released from Delhi’s Tihar jail on May 10 on interim bail granted by the Supreme Court for Lok Sabha elections.

The Aam Aadmi Party chief surrendered at the jail on June 2, a day after polling concluded, when his 21-day interim bail period ended.

Rai said that the Aam Aadmi Party had fought the elections against BJP’s “dictatorship”, though there was disappointment among party workers after the chief minister’s arrest.

On Wednesday, party leader Durgesh Pathak told The Indian Express that the Aam Aadmi Party could have performed better in the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi if its leaders were granted bail earlier and given more time to campaign.

“If we had got a little more time, we could have filled the gap by coordinating better,” Pathak, who was Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign in-charge, told the newspaper. “Besides, there’s always been a mindset in Delhi, people vote for Modi in the Centre and for AAP in state polls.”

Pathak said that most of the senior party leaders like Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain were in jail through the polls, while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh got bail very late into the party’s campaign.

‘Congress capable of going solo’

Meanwhile, the Congress has also hinted that it may fight solo in the Haryana Assembly elections, expected to be held in October.

“As of now, there is no discussion on whether we will contest the election alone or in alliance,” former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told The Indian Express. “However, the Congress itself is capable [of contesting the election on its own].”

The Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress contested the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana in an alliance.

The Congress won five seats in the state, while the BJP won the other five.

Speaking about the election results, Hooda said: “In the country, I believe the INDIA bloc has secured the highest vote share in Haryana, followed by Karnataka. People have made up their minds to form a Congress government next in Haryana.”

He said the Congress would reintroduce the Old Pension Scheme for government employees if it is voted to power. “Our poll manifesto will also be released soon,” he added.

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