Congress leader Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said there have been no talks yet on forming an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Dikshit said the party was hurt with the way AAP spoke about former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during a discussion in the Delhi Assembly last month, NDTV reported.
On December 21, the Assembly had passed a resolution to demand the setting up of fast-track courts to deal with cases related to the anti-Sikh violence of 1984. There were also reports that the resolution demanded that Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna be revoked for allegedly justifying the violence. However, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had later clarified that the demand for revocation of the award was not adopted in the House and that it was proposed by only one legislator.
“Politics is full of challenges, we will strategise accordingly,” said Dikshit, who took charge as Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president on Wednesday. “The BJP and AAP both are a challenge, we will meet the challenges together. There is nothing on an alliance with AAP yet.”
Dikshit said AAP had spoken poorly of Gandhi in the Delhi Assembly. “The way they talked about Rajiv Gandhi in the Assembly... we were hurt by it and it was not right,” Dikshit said.
Dikshit succeeds Ajay Maken, who quit the as the Delhi party chief earlier this month citing health problems. Maken had opposed an alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.
“The Congress high command led by Rahul Gandhi will decide the profit and loss of the alliance, we will follow whatever will be the decision of high command,” Dikshit said.
She also said that the party wanted Rahul Gandhi to be the next prime minister of India.
Meanwhile, the presence of Congress leader Jagdish Tytler at the event on Wednesday became a controversial talking point. Tytler is accused of being involved in the anti-Sikh violence in North Delhi’s Gurdwara Pulbangash, where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Union Minister and leader of BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal Harsimrat Kaur Badal claimed Tytler’s presence at the event was a “clear signal” to Sikhs, ANI reported. “Indira Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi to Rahul Gandhi, Tytler was their right hand man,” Badal added.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said the Congress intentionally gave Tytler a prominent seat at the event, PTI reported. “The Congress wants to send a message to the witnesses that the party high command supports Tytler and nobody should even try to testify against him,” Sirsa added.