Rahul, Kejriwal spar amid buzz of fresh alliance

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday got down to tough negotiations with the AAP for an anti-BJP coalition in Delhi by offering the latter four out of seven seats in the national capital and accusing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of doing a U-turn.

Within minutes of Rahul making the offer and making it clear that “doors are still open” for an alliance, Kejriwal hit back at the Congress claiming that it was not interested in any alliance in Delhi but was merely engaged in rhetoric.

“An alliance between the Congress & AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP. The Congress is willing to give up 4 Delhi seats to the AAP to ensure this. But, Mr Kejriwal has done yet another U turn,” Rahul said in a tweet, referring to AAP's demands for an alliance in other states. “Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out,” the Congress chief said.

The Congress had set Monday as the deadline to announce its candidates for the national capital which goes to polls on May 12. The Election Commission is set to notify the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday.

“The priority today is to save the nation from the dangers posed by Modi-Shah. It is unfortunate that you are dividing the anti-Modi vote in UP and other states and helping Modi,” Kejriwal said responding to Rahul.

The statements by top leaders of the two parties on Twitter on Monday evening was indicative of the softening of respective positions with both agreeing that defeating Modi was a priority. Leaders of the AAP and Congress were set to meet on Wednesday to take a final call on the alliance.

Last week, the Congress has accused the AAP of making “impractical” demands by seeking an alliance in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh and made it clear that it was ready to join hands with the party that routed it in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections.

AICC in-charge of Delhi P C Chacko had held several rounds of talks with AAP leader Sanjay Singh for a seat-sharing arrangement but the two leaders had failed to reach an agreement.

Chacko reiterated the Congress position that it was open for an alliance only in Delhi and not in other states. “Whatever decision is reached in one state cannot be replicated in the same way in other states,” he said.AAP leader Gopal Rai also reiterated the party stand for an alliance in Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh saying that he was interested in defeating the BJP on 18 seats and not just seven in the national capital. 

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Rahul, Kejriwal spar amid buzz of fresh alliance

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