The Congress chief had said that while the doors of his party are open, time is running out.
New Delhi: All eyes are on Wednesday’s meeting where senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, party’s in-charge of Delhi affairs P.C. Chacko and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh are expected to sit together to deliberate upon the formalities to forge an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections in the national capital.
A highly placed source said that if things do not materialise, there are chances the two parties may announce forging of the alliance next week only.
On Tuesday, Congress asserted that it has shown a “big heart” by agreeing to form an alliance with AAP in Delhi. It said the ball is now in the court of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s party. It now rests with them to take a final call on the matter, which has been dragging for the past one month.
A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Mr Kejriwal indulged in a public spat over the issue, the grand old party said it has already offered AAP four seats in the national capital and now the decision has to be taken by it.
The Congress chief had said that while the doors of his party are open, time is running out. Congress has offered AAP a 4:3 seat sharing formula — four Lok Sabha seats for the ruling party and three for itself. However, AAP has proposed a 5:2 ratio keeping five seats for itself and two for the grand old party.
The arrangement has been arrived at on the basis of the vote-share of both the parties in the 2017 civic polls here. Congress has accused the Kejriwal-led outfit of backing out from its commitment as it is demanding seats in Goa, Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh besides Delhi for a pre-poll understanding with Congress.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Party president Rahul Gandhi has made it pretty clear that an alliance can be formed only in Delhi in a ratio of 4:3.” He accused Mr Kejriwal of playing “hide and seek” and said Mr Gandhi has made the party’s stand clear.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said: “Congress is not giving even a single seat to AAP in Punjab where it has four MPs and 20 MLAs. In Delhi, where Congress has no MPs and MLAs, it is demanding three seats. Is this how agreements are made?”
AAP has already announced its candidates for the seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi while Congress has finalised names of former Union ministers Ajay Maken and Kapil Sibal from New Delhi and Chandni Chowk constituencies respectively.
The party has also decided to field state Congress chief and three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s trusted lieutenant Raj Kumar Chauhan for the Northwest seat.
There are strong indications that Ms Dikshit may be asked to contest from East Delhi constituency. The seat was earlier held by her son, Sandeep Dikshit. Mr Sibal, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, could be replaced by former MP JP Aggarwal.
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