New Delhi: The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will not enter into an alliance for the upcoming general elections, the Congress’ Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit announced on Tuesday.
The decision came after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi called a meeting of all leaders of the Delhi unit to discuss the possibility of an alliance, days after the AAP announced six candidates for seven seats in Delhi, three of which are being seen as serious contenders.
“A unanimous decision has been taken that there will be no alliance in Delhi,” Dikshit said told news agency ANI.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko also confirmed the development.
The decision was taken after Congress president Rahul Gandhi held a meeting with senior party leaders earlier in the day.
“In the meeting, all the local leaders and MLAs in Delhi, including ex-PCC and sitting PCC, said nobody wants an alliance with AAP in Delhi,” a Congress leader told Moneycontrol. “Congress is gaining in Delhi, and AAP’s clout is waning, which is why AAP has been pressurising Congress to enter into an alliance,” the leader added.
Reacting to the development, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal stated that “Congress is helping the BJP by splitting anti-BJP vote”.
Earlier, media reports stated that AAP cadre was reluctant to enter into an alliance with the Congress in Delhi.
“The 2013 win for AAP was after a campaign against the Sheila Dikshit-led government. To push the workers who campaigned against her into an alliance with a party led by her would not be advisable,” an AAP worker was quoted as saying in media reports.
The possibility of an alliance between AAP and Congress in Delhi for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls has been on the table for long.
After the late night Opposition meeting at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in New Delhi on February 13, Kejriwal had said Congress has “more or less” ruled out an alliance with the party in the national capital.
“We are very worried about the nation, so we are more keen (on an alliance). The Congress has almost said no to an alliance,” Kejriwal had said while addressing reporters after the meet.
Delhi sends seven MPs to Lok Sabha. All the seven Lok Sabha seats were swept by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the 2014 general elections.