NCP urges Congress to reconsider alliance with AAP

NCP urges Congress to reconsider alliance with AAP

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal, NCP leaders Supriya Sule and Praful Patel in New Delhi on February 13, 2019. PTI

The NCP has not given up hope on a grand opposition alliance to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections even after the Congress announced that it will not tie-up with the AAP in Delhi.

NCP chief spokesperson D P Tripathi on Thursday urged the Congress to reconsider an alliance with AAP on a day when Rahul Gandhi made it clear that a unanimous decision was taken to go it alone in Delhi.

“Our Delhi unit is unanimously opposed to any alliance. But overall, alliances are on track. You can see, our alliance is final in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said here.

On Tuesday, the Congress ruled out an alliance with Arvind Kejriwal's AAP in Delhi describing him as an “unreliable ally”. Rahul was being nudged by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to enter into an alliance with the AAP to keep the BJP out.

“Our appeal to the Congress is to form an appropriate alliance as per their strength with AAP in Delhi,” Tripathi said adding that there could be an understanding on all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

The NCP leader also staked claim to the Katihar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, which was represented by Tariq Anwar, who joined the Congress last year.

“Katihar is not Tariq Anwar's fiefdom. He had won as an NCP candidate. We have a claim to that seat. We will soon request the RJD and Congress to leave that seat for us,” Tripathi said noting that NCP had sent Anwar to Rajya Sabha twice.

The NCP leader also suggested that the Congress enter into an alliance with the SP and the BSP in Uttar Pradesh to keep the communal forces at bay.

“The Congress should support the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. We appeal to the Congress to make the alliance stronger,” Tripathi said.

He said the Congress should show magnanimity like the NCP in Maharashtra. “We have 5 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra against the Congress' two. Yet, we are ready to give them more seats in Maharashtra,” Tripathi said.

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