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Sheila Dikshit calls urgent meet to discuss seats, tieup

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY KAW
Published : Mar 20, 2019, 2:37 am IST
Updated : Mar 20, 2019, 2:37 am IST

The party leaders of the Delhi unit, however, maintained that there was no talk of an alliance during the meeting.

Sheila Dikshit (Photo: PTI)
 Sheila Dikshit (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI: Amid a buzz that top Congress leadership was yet again looking at options to align with the Aam Aadmi Party in the national capital, party’s state unit head and former chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday called an urgent meeting with the three working presidents and went about the process of selection of candidates for all seven seats in the capital for the coming elections.

“An urgent meeting was called and it was decided that the selection of candidates should begin. Around 70 applications have been received by the party from Delhi Congress leaders for seven seats in Delhi,” a senior party leader said.

The leader said that the screening committee of the party,  including Ms Dikshit, has to shortlist names from among the applications and send a list of 2-3 names per seat to top leadership for final announcement. The meeting with the three working presidents Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilothia, at Ms Diskhit’s residence, came  in the backdrop of Congress mulling its options to align with the AAP  in its bid to defeat Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo in Lok Sabha elections, days after having unanimously decided to go it alone in Delhi.

The party leaders of the Delhi unit, however, maintained that there was no talk of an alliance during the meeting.

Uncertainty has been persisting in the Delhi Congress over a pre-poll tie-up with the AAP after Ms Dikshit and her three working presidents wrote to Congress president Rahul Gandhi against the alliance. In a letter written last week, Ms Dikshit along with Mr Yusuf,  Mr Yadav and Mr Lilothia protested a recent phone survey to gauge workers’ mood on the alliance.

Though Ms Dikshit has been totally against any alliance with the AAP,  she has left the decision to the party leadership and will go by whatever they say.  But she maintained  that the Congress was in a better position to fight with the workers on its own to take on the BJP in all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

 On Tuesday morning, Maharashtra heavyweight Sharad Pawar took on the role of the mediator to stitch together an alliance between the Congress and the AAP. After Mr Pawar’s intervention, sources said Ms Dikshit also discussed reconsideration of the tie-up with AAP with her colleagues who had assembled at her residence to discuss about the process of selection of candidates for the Parliamentary polls. Sources said that party leaders were trying to convince Ms Dikshit for an alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Delhi Congress PC Chacko said, “I am in consultation with Congress party leaders in Delhi on the possibilities of forging an alliance with AAP.”

Tags: sheila dikshit, aam aadmi party