Ties with AAP in Haryana may not give dividends to Cong

Ties with AAP in Haryana may not give dividends to Cong

 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI file photo

The thrust by the AAP insisting on a poll pact with the Congress in Haryana as a quid pro quo of sorts for an alliance in the national capital could prove hopeless for the Congress in the Jatland.

AAP sources said that negotiations are underway with the Congress for an alliance in 2 Haryana seats.

That may be counterproductive for the Congress, which is seeking a revival from the rout in 2014— it was reduced to a single seat in the state which has 10 Lok Sabha segments.

Unlike in Punjab, the AAP arguably has insignificant cadre base in Haryana.

Political adversaries see that the AAP as a rookie yearning to spread its base on the crutches of a stronger political ally.

Haryana is the home state of AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Despite this, the AAP has failed to trigger a groundswell here, like it did in Punjab where it performed exceedingly well both in the last Lok Sabha and the subsequent Assembly elections in the Sikh dominated state in 2017.

Barring AAP’s state chief Naveen Jaihind, who is married to senior AAP leader and chief of Delhi Commission for Women, Swati Maliwal, the AAP has a dearth of leaders who hold a sway over the voters.

Jaihind, who has been announced as the party’s chief ministerial candidate by Kejriwal, is yet to test his electoral worth.

An alliance in Haryana would only benefit the AAP even though it will play second fiddle to the Congress.

An AAP-Congress pact in Haryana will only ensure some gains in the AAP vote percentage, and not on the number of seats it wins.

The Congress' votes are unlikely to be transferred to AAP candidates. Yet, it would bolster AAP’s image and support base for the crucial Assembly elections in Haryana slated later this year.

Haryana state Congress leaders, including former chief minister Bhupinder Hooda, Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and others, are opposing an alliance with the AAP.

"Haryana Congress needs no alliance. But an alliance with the AAP in Delhi will impact Haryana,” Hooda said on Friday.

The AAP decided against contesting the recent Jind bypoll in the state, instead chose to support another party's candidate.

The bypoll contest for the AAP could have been an indicator of its popularity. Yet, the AAP shied away from it at a time when general elections were around the corner and its preparedness should have been no less than a formidable contender.