'AAP's greed is cause for derailment of alliance talk'

Former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely. AFP file photo

Aam Aadmi Party's "unending greed" for an alliance beyond Delhi is solely responsible for the derailment of talks of a tie-up between the Congress and the Arvind Kejriwal-led-party, former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely has said.

Lovely, who is pitted against BJP's Gautam Gambhir and AAP's Atishi Marlena from East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, exuded confidence that the Congress will secure the first position in Lok Sabha polls, scheduled to take place on May 12 in Delhi.

Last week, both the candidates of the Congress and the AAP filed their nomination papers for the seven Lok Sabha seats, putting an end to the possibility of any alliance between the two parties in Delhi.

The Congress leader claimed that his party cadre were not ready for alliance with the AAP, which also wanted a seat-sharing agreement in Haryana besides Delhi.

"Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said 'yes' to an alliance with the AAP because he wanted to give a message to the entire country, not particularly in Delhi, that Congress wants to take all secular people on board everywhere.

"But, their (AAP) greed was unending. AAP should understand that alliance is firmed up on a state-to-state basis," Lovely told PTI in an interview.

Giving an example, he said his party has an alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, but in Goa, the NCP is fighting against the Congress.

"If there has been no alliance between Congress and the AAP, they (AAP) are responsible for it," he said.

Lovely, who held crucial portfolios like transport, education and urban development, during the Sheila Dikshit-led government, slammed the BJP government at the Centre and the AAP dispensation for doing nothing for Delhi.

"There is severe anti-incumbency against BJP, be it issues like GST, sealing issue, inflation, unemployment...corruption in municipal corporations.

"If you talk about AAP, they have not done anything for Delhi. Since they have won the 2015 Assembly elections where the party won 67 of 70 seats, their voting percentage has reduced in every election, but the voting percentage of Congress has increased," he said.

He said in the 2017 municipal elections, AAP came a distant third in East Delhi while Congress came second, adding that in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress will be secure the first position.

Lovely, who was former Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president, also hit out at BJP and AAP for playing politics over the issue of unauthorised colonies.

He alleged that AAP government has stopped the process of mapping boundaries of these colonies.

"To give benefit to some builders and persons, they stopped the entire process. Today, there would have been the registration of properties in unauthorised colonies, and people would have got a major relief.

"This is a very serious crime for which they should never be forgiven...They (BJP and AAP) are now playing blame-game on the issue of unauthorised colonies," Lovely said.

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