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AAP-Congress tieup talks linger on

Published : Apr 19, 2019, 2:36 am IST
Updated : Apr 19, 2019, 2:36 am IST

Chacko, who is also the party’s in-charge of Delhi affairs, said Congress president Rahul Gandhi was in favour of an alliance with AAP.

Congress leader P.C. Chacko (Photo: PTI)
 Congress leader P.C. Chacko (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: If an alliance over seat-sharing between AAP and Congress does not materialise, there are chances that Congress may field state unit chief and three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit from the East Delhi Lok Sabha (LS) seat. AAP has already declared Atishi as its candidate from East Delhi.

BJP, which had swept all the seven seats in the 2014 LS polls, is yet to finalise its list of candidates. A highly placed source said that in all likelihood BJP will nominate all its sitting MPs in their respective constituencies.

Other possible Congress candidates to contest the polls are former Union minister Ajay Maken, former city minister Raj Kumar Chauhan from Northwest Delhi, former MP J.P. Aggarwal from Northeast, former MP Ramesh Kumar from South Delhi, former MP Mahabal Mishra, and Olympian Sushil Kumar from West Delhi. Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal is expected to contest from Chandni Chowk seat. But there are indications that the party may field some other candidate in Chandni Chowk. Among the front runners for Chandni Chowk is former city minister Haroon Yusuf.

Other AAP leaders to contest the polls are Raghav Chaddha from South Delhi, Dilip Pandey from Northeast, Gugan Singh from Northwest, Brijesh Goyal from New Delhi, Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk, and Balbir Singh Jakhar from West Delhi. So far 36 candidates have filed their nominations.

Among the ones who have filed their nomination is Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Rajveer Singh from Northeast Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader P.C. Chacko had said that AAP backtracked on forging an alliance with Congress after a final understanding over seat-sharing in Delhi was reached between both the parties. He said Congress was ready to fight on all the seven seats, adding that the party would announce its candidates by Friday.

“I had a discussion with AAP leader Sanjay Singh and we decided on a 3:4 formula in Delhi. That was finally decided but then AAP was discussing some other states,” he added.

Mr Chacko, who is also the party’s in-charge of Delhi affairs, said Congress president Rahul Gandhi was in favour of an alliance with AAP.

On Monday, Mr Gandhi said that while the doors of his party are open for AAP, time is “running out.”

AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Mr Sanjay Singh said that the talks for an alliance between AAP and Congress ended “inconclusively” after the grand old party refused a tieup in Haryana. Mr Singh said that he held talks with senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mr Chacko and proposed an alliance of 6:3:1 in Haryana on Tuesday.

In Haryana, AAP has proposed to fight from one seat while offering Congress and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) six and three seats respectively. “Congress leaders Azad and (Bhupinder Singh) Hooda have refused to form an alliance in Haryana. We were ready to give three seats to Congress in Delhi if they had agreed to form an alliance in Haryana too,” Mr Sanjay Singh said.

Haryana Congress leader Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda said there was no question of any alliance with AAP in the state. “But if the party takes a decision in the national interest, the state unit will stand by it,” he said.

Tags: 2019 lok sabha elections, sheila dikshit