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Delhi CM opens door to AAP, Kejriwal shuts it

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 29, 2013
First Published: 00:33 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:48 IST(29/11/2013)

Hours after she hinted at a possible post-poll alliance with the debutant Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi chief minister said late Thursday the Congress would win a fourth consecutive term on its own even as the rookie party ruled out a tie-up.

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"When it comes to that (alliance), we will think about it," Dikshit said in an interview to CNN-IBN when asked about the Congress's strategy in case of Delhi voters handing down a split verdict. When asked categorically about tying up with AAP, she said, "I didn't rule it in, I didn't rule it out."

But late in the evening, the chief minister said the Congress would form government on its own, without anybody's support.

Delhi votes for the 70-member assembly on December 4 and the result will be out on December 8. The city has always seen a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress but

Arvind Kejriwal's AAP has added a third dimension to the prestigious battle for the Capital. Most opinion polls have predicted a hung assembly.   

A recent pre-poll survey by The Economic Times even predicted Kejriwal defeating Dikshit in New Delhi segment that she has been representing for 15 years.

Kejriwal, however, rejected any possibility of going with the Congress. "Sheila says ki unke darwaze sabke liye khule hain. Then let Congress and BJP form alliance, if there is any such need," Kejriwal tweeted. "Sheila ji's statement shows Cong has conceded defeat."

It will neither seek support nor back the Congress or the BJP, AAP said in a statement.

"Chief minister Sheila Dikshit's statement tacitly acknowledges that the Congress is becoming irrelevant to the electoral race in Delhi," it said.

The Congress is finding itself on a shaky ground. Most opinion polls are pointing to a hung House, with the BJP emerging as the single largest party.

But the chief minister doubted the findings, pre-poll surveys were not transparent.

"They do not reflect the ground realities. On what basis did they arrive at such a conclusion I have my doubts," she said.

During the 2008 elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) emerged as a serious contender and walked away with 14% votes and two seats. While it hit the vote share of both the Congress and the BJP, it could not prevent the Congress from getting a clear majority.

AAP has emerged as a serious contender even as parties such as the BSP, Janata Dal (U) and Nationalist Congress Party are expected to eat into the votes of the two biggies.

Dikshit, however, told CNN-IBN she was going into the polls with confidence. "I'm not thinking of a hung assembly… We are going with confidence to win this election," she said.

Talking to mediapersons at her official residence, the CM said the people would not vote for the BJP and that AAP that were "misleading" them.

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