Have Congress and AAP signed a deal for Delhi?

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on March 26, 2019 Published on March 26, 2019

Congress’ Delhi-unit president Sheila Dikshit   -  V Sreenivasa Murthy

Sheila Dikshit against pact; AICC in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko favours the tie-up

Congress’ Delhi unit president Sheila Dikshit is the only hindrance before the party’s alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The pact has reportedly been sealed despite the former Chief Minister’s resistance.

The majority among the party’s leaders in the districts as well as the Congress Working Committee (CWC) are for an alliance with the AAP because it is the only way that the Congress can win seats in Delhi.

While Dikshit is openly against the alliance, senior leaders and former State party presidents such as Ajay Maken and Subhash Chopra and AICC in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko favour the tie-up.

Almost all senior political leaders in the Opposition, including NCP’s Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had urged the Congress leadership to positively consider AAP’s offer. The party apparently has offered three out of the seven seats to the Congress and also suggested that a candidate mutually agreeable to both the parties can be fielded from one constituency.

The matter is before Congress President Rahul Gandhi at the moment. He held two rounds of discussions with all senior leaders of the Delhi PCC.

Sources in both the parties confirmed that though the AAP has announced candidates, the party is ready for a compromise. Senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh is the bridge between both the parties.

While the Congress may get New Delhi, Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi seats, the AAP may contest from East Delhi, South Delhi and North West Delhi.

“AAP’s candidates in East Delhi, South Delhi and North West Delhi are strong and we are sure of winning New Delhi, Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi seats if they support us,” a senior Congress leader said.

Indications are there that West Delhi could be the seat where a mutually acceptable candidate could be fielded.

Apparently after clear indications from the high command, Dikshit changed the tone on Tuesday.

“We will inform the media when a decision is taken. Ultimately, the decision is to be taken by Rahul Gandhi as he is the party President. Everyone will abide by what he decides,” she said.

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Published on March 26, 2019
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