Days after AAP announces candidates, Congress to talk Delhi poll pact today

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has called a meeting of all leaders of the Delhi unit on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the upcoming elections. The move comes after the Arvind Kejriwal-led party announced its candidates on six of seven seats in Delhi.

As per media reports, both the parties will contest on three seast each in Delhi. The National Capital has seven parliamentary constituencies. According to the arrangement, the seventh seat will go to former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. The ex-Union Minister is likely to contest the General Elections as an Independent candidate. He has reportedly met bothy party leaders in this regard.

On Saturday, the Aam Aadmi Party had declared candidates for six of the seven seats for Lok Sabha elections 2019 in Delhi.

In the list of candidates announced by AAP , Atishi Marlena has been nominated to contest from East Delhi, Guggan Singh will contest from Northwest Delhi. AAP political affairs committee member Raghav Chadha will contest from South Delhi, while Pankaj Gupta has been nominated to contest from the Chandni Chowk seat. Dilip Pandey and Brijesh Goyal will contest from Northeast Delhi and New Delhi seats respectively.

“We won 66 out of 70 seats in Assembly elections. We will try to make a similar presence felt during the Lok Sabha elections,” the Delhi Employment Minister said. However, the candidate for the seventh Lok Sabha seat – West Delhi – will be declared later as the party was still discussing potential names, Rai said during the press conference.

The AAP had been sending feelers to the Congress leadership for a pre-poll tie-up for quite a while, but was rebuffed.

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.

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 also urged Gandhi to forge an alliance with AAP in Delhi but convincing the Delhi unit of the Congress, led by former CM Sheila Dikshit, proved tricky.

Several opposition leaders feel the need of the hour is to put up a well-knit front, where parties that are partners at the national level also join hands in the states in the national election.