After recently rejecting an alliance with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, the Congress is reconsidering a tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls, Congress leader PC Chacko told PTI. The All India Congress Committee general secretary in Delhi said he is discussing the possibility of an alliance with Congress leaders and that party President Rahul Gandhi will take a decision soon.
Meanwhile, reports said that Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar is mediating between the two parties to help form an alliance. Gandhi and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge met Pawar before he met AAP leader Sanjay Singh in New Delhi.
Chacko’s statement followed Delhi Congress President Sheila Dikshit’s announcement on March 5 in which she had ruled out the possibility of an alliance.
“The Congress Working Committee has decided to align with like-minded parties across the country to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in Lok Sabha elections,” Chacko said. “I hope Delhi Congress leaders also go by this sentiment and decide on an alliance with AAP.” Chacko claimed several party leaders had written to Gandhi expressing their wish for an alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP.
Later on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai said the odds in favour of an alliance were dim, The Indian Express reported. “The Congress is looking disintegrated,” he said. “If we ally with them now, it will be a disadvantage for us.”
Rai said the people in Delhi are tired of waiting for an alliance. “They are asking us how long will we keep waiting for,” Rai said. “Our answer, now, to alliance is a clear No. We will now focus on our campaign.”
The Lok Sabha election is scheduled for May 12 in Delhi.
On March 9, Kejriwal had called the Congress party arrogant and claimed its candidates would lose their deposits in the upcoming elections. He claimed he had tried persuading the Congress to forge an alliance, but that the party “did not understand”.
On March 11, Rahul Gandhi had told Congress workers that the party has to win all the seven seats in Delhi, implying there would be no tie-up.
The Aam Aadmi Party has announced its candidates for all seven seats in the Capital.
‘No democracy within AAP,’ says party MLA Alka Lamba
Meanwhile, Delhi AAP MLA Alka Lamba claimed there was no democracy within the party, India Today TV reported. She said the party had a “coterie culture” and that Kejriwal’s associates were conspiring to sideline her in the party.
Lamba also praised Gandhi for “restoring inner party democracy” within the Congress.
On March 15, she had said she was willing to join the Congress party but was yet to receive a proposal.