No Congress-AAP tie-up; Dikshit, Sibal to contest

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 12, 2019

The Congress will fight the election alone: PC Chacko

As talks between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress collapsed, the Congress has decided to experiment with its best bets in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Sources indicated that former chief minister Sheila Dikshit will be the party’s candidate from East Delhi, a constituency once held by her son Sandip Dikshit. The party will also file former cabinet ministers Ajay Maken and Kapil Sibal from New Delhi and Chandni Chowk constituencies, respectively. An official announcement is expected once Congress President Rahul Gandhi approves the list, cleared by the party’s Central Election Committee. The party has not taken a decision on West Delhi and South Delhi constituencies. Raj Kumar Chouhan and JP Agarwal are likely to be the candidates from North West and North East constituencies.

‘Impractical’ stand

Despite best efforts by AICC in-charge of the State PC Chacko and Maken, the Congress could not form an alliance with the AAP as a powerful section led by Dikshit was against it. Party leaders blamed the AAP’s demand for seats in Punjab and Haryana put hurdles in the discussions. Chacko said that the Congress will fight the election alone as the AAP’s stand is “impractical”. , “We are still ready for an alliance if the AAP is willing to have an alliance in Delhi alone. We want to fight the BJP together,” he added.

The AAP, however, has rejected the offer. “We want alliance on all 33 seats with the Congress and not three seats in Delhi. We are capable of defeating the BJP and the Congress on our own in Delhi. If an alliance has to be there, it has to be on 33 seats,” said Gopal Rai, AAP leader and minister in Arvind Kejriwal Cabinet.

The AAP stitched an alliance with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), a splinter group of the Indian National Lok Dal, in Haryana.

The JJP, led by former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala’s grandson Dushyant Chautala, will fight seven out of the 10 seats and the AAP will get three seats as per understanding between the two parties.

Jhadu (AAP’s election symbol) and chappal (JJP’s poll symbol) will remove obstructions and emerge victorious, and together they will defeat the BJP and the Congress,” said Chautala, in Delhi.

Published on April 12, 2019

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