Amidst resistance from party, AAP in talks with Congress for an alliance in Delhi

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are in touch over forming an alliance and have started discussions for a seat-sharing agreement for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.

As per reports, the Congress’ top brass has given its nod to initiating the alliance talks with the Aam Aadmi Party, but there is still some resistance from the Delhi unit of the party, which wants to contest alone.

However, the party high command feels that the party should be open for an alliance to achieve the larger goal of defeating the BJP, which had won all seven seats from Delhi in 2014. The AAP has been sending feelers to the Congress leadership for a pre-poll tie-up for quite a while.

Surveys and polls done by both the parties indicate that if the AAP and the Congress contest separately in Delhi, the BJP could sweep the Lok Sabha polls.

Opposition leaders such as TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, at a meeting held at NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s house, had urged Rahul Gandhi to forge an alliance with AAP in Delhi.

Sources indicate that two seat sharing formulas are being discussed at the moment – a 4:3 one in which four seats will go to the AAP and three to Congress, and a 3:3:1 in which both parties will get parity and one seat will go to a mutually acceptable independent candidate. 

The Delhi unit, however, continues to be against any alliance and maintains that the Congress could win the Lok Sabha polls on its own without an alliance. DPCC chief and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had openly taken a hard line and rejected an alliance with the AAP.

Dikshit had on Friday held meetings with three working presidents of the party to discuss the issue of alliance.

“Dikshit and the three working presidents were of the firm view that no alliance should be entertained with AAP and decided to convey this message to the party high command,” a senior Delhi Congress leader said.

There is another hurdle as the Congress wants the alliance in Delhi to be completely de-linked from other states, while the AAP wants the alliance to extend to Punjab, and perhaps even Haryana and Goa, two other states where it has some presence.

A senior AAP leader, in the know of things, claimed that “the tie-up will happen. But, it will not come so fast and easily”.

Delhi chief minister Kejriwal had in a recent public meeting said that he was “tired” of convincing the Congress for an alliance in the Lok Sabha elections to defeat the BJP, but it was not understanding the issue.

“We are tired of convincing the Congress to form an alliance, but they do not understand. If there is an alliance, the BJP will lose all the seven Lok Sabha seats it currently has in Delhi,” Kejriwal said at a recent rally.

“I don’t know what they have in their minds,” he further said.