LokSabha 2019: Congress to go alone in Delhi as talks with AAP fail

Saturday, 13 April 2019

"We are compelled to go on our own as AAP is going back on its stand," Chacko told reporters.

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday said its talks with the AAP for an alliance has failed as the Arvind Kejriwal-led party took an "impractical stand" of a tie-up in four states, but indicated that possibilities for an electoral understanding between the two were still alive for Delhi.

Congress in-charge for Delhi P C Chacko announced that the party will go alone, but maintained that it is still willing to have an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party provided the tie-up is restricted only to the national capital.

The AAP, however, said the tie-up can only be done on 33 Lok Sabha seats across four states and one Union Territory.

Soon after the Congress announcement, the AAP announced a tie-up with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) for Haryana.

The JJP was launched by former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's grandson Dushyant Chautala, following a power struggle in the state's main opposition INLD last year.

Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said the JJP will fight on seven seats and AAP on three seats.

Uncertainty over alliance between the AAP and the Congress has been continuing for weeks now with the former demanding an alliance on 33 seats of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Goa and Chandigarh.

The talks between the two sides derailed after they failed to reach an agreement over seat-sharing in Delhi and Haryana.

Chacko said the Congress will contest alone in Delhi since AAP has taken an "impractical stand".

"We are compelled to go on our own as AAP is going back on its stand," Chacko told reporters.

He, however, said, "We are still ready (for alliance) if AAP is willing to have an alliance in Delhi alone. We want to fight the BJP together."

"We are not able to form an alliance as they have taken a difficult and impractical proposition. Congress is going to fight the election in Delhi on its own," he said, adding that the party will come out with a candidate list in a day or two.

He said the Congress has adopted a policy to form alliances with parties to defeat the BJP and this policy was being followed all over the country.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in response, said it is capable of defeating both the BJP and the Congress in the city and an alliance is possible with the grand old party only when it will be done on the 33 seats.

"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," AAP's Gopal Rai said.

AAP's Rajya Sabha leader Sanjay Singh, who was holding alliance talks with the Congress, said, "Our sincerity to stop the BJP in Haryana is reflected by the fact that we became a junior partner to a four-month-old party (JJP) and agreed to contest only less than half of the seats in the state."

Singh said the AAP was eager for an alliance with the Congress in Haryana so that the BJP could be defeated on all the 10 seats.

"That's why we were prepared to give Congress three seats in Delhi. But they refused an alliance," he said.

Singh exuded confidence that the AAP would win all the seven seats on its own in Delhi.

However, sources said the AAP in a last-ditch attempt may offer a 5:2 seat sharing formula to the Congress in Delhi.

Earlier, the AAP was ready to give three seats to the Congress in Delhi but now it might consider giving it just two seats, the sources added. 

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