Cong snubs AAP, leaves Kejriwal fuming

Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit. (PTI File Photo)

Dashing hopes of an Opposition unity in New Delhi, the Congress on Tuesday ruled out an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Lok Sabha polls for the seven seats in the region by terming him as an "unreliable ally".

The decision against an alliance with the AAP was taken at a meeting that Congress president Rahul Gandhi held with leaders of the Delhi unit of the Congress.

"There will be no alliance with AAP. The decision was taken unanimously," Delhi Congress president and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters here.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted sharply dubbing the Congress an "undeclared partner of the BJP".

"At a time when the whole country wants to defeat the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo, the Congress is helping the BJP by splitting the anti-BJP vote. There are rumours that the Congress has some secret understanding with BJP. Delhi is ready to fight against Congress-BJP alliance. People will defeat this unholy alliance," Kejriwal said.

Top Delhi Congress leaders, including Dikshit, former state unit chiefs Ajay Maken, Arvinder Singh Lovely and J P Agarwal had an hour-long meeting with Rahul where they unanimously opposed any alliance with the AAP.

"My opinion as the AICC in-charge was to have an alliance to defeat the BJP. By not having a pact, we will divide the votes. But most star leaders thought Congress must go alone to survive in the next state polls. There's some wisdom in that opinion also," AICC In-charge of Delhi P C Chacko said.

Chacko said the Congress will finalise its candidates for all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi over the next few days.

"Your opinion is my opinion. I do not want to impose a view on you," Rahul is learnt to have told Delhi leaders.

At a meeting of Opposition leaders at NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence last month, Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked Rahul to consider an alliance with the AAP, which had routed the Congress in the Delhi Assembly elections in 2015.

There was a suggestion that the Congress and AAP contest on three seats each and support a common candidate, someone like Yashwant Sinha, for the seventh seat.

The Congress leaders argue that the party was making a slow but steady comeback in the national capital at the cost of the AAP, which had made Kejriwal jittery.

On Saturday, the AAP had announced its candidates on six out of the seven seats in the national capital piling up pressure on the Congress to join hands with it.

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Cong snubs AAP, leaves Kejriwal fuming


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