Lok Sabha elections 2019| Congress has declined alliance, no more talks now: Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was not holding any talks with the Congress for a pre-poll alliance.
“As far as I know, the Congress has declined an alliance. We are not holding any talks with them. We don’t have anything to do with their meeting. The Congress is planting stories,” Kejriwal, AAP national convener, said on the sidelines of a public meeting in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar on Tuesday evening.
Earlier in the day, AAP Delhi convener Gopal Rai said the party will fight elections on its own and there will be “no tie up with the Congress”.
Several senior AAP functionaries, however, said the back-channel talks with Congress leaders were still on. They said Rai’s announcement on Tuesday was “part of a larger political strategy”.
While functionaries of the AAP have claimed to have proposed the Congress a 5:2 seat sharing deal (five for the AAP and two for the Congress), members of the Congress said that they will settle for nothing less than 3:3:1 - three share each for the two parties and one for an independent candidate.
Asked about the “backchannel negotiations”, senior Congress leader and party Delhi in-charge PC Chacko said: “I had my last meeting with Sheila Dikshit yesterday [Monday]. She was against the alliance. I told her once again why and how the alliance is essential to defeat BJP in Delhi. Anything about a seat-sharing ratio was not on table. It will be discussed only after Rahul Gandhi takes the final call on the alliance. For now, nobody has officially approached us with seat sharing numbers, nor have we approached anyone.”
On Tuesday morning, the buzz around a possible Congress-AAP alliance intensified when Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar flew to Delhi and separately met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and AAP’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh.
Singh said: “If the Congress wants to defeat BJP and stop the politics of hate, it has to tie up with AAP in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. We have conveyed a 5:2 seat share proposal to Congress in Delhi and reiterated the same in the meeting today with Sharad Pawar ji, who had met me after meeting Rahul Gandhi ji. But so far, there has been no negotiation on the specifics of the seat-sharing ratio in the other two states.”
Singh said the Delhi proposal was “not negotiable”.
Rai’s categorical denial on Tuesday was, however, a U-turn on his part. So far, he had maintained that the Congress was causing “damage” to the fight against the BJP by not taking a firm stand on the alliance. On whether if that meant the doors (for an alliance) were totally closed, he had said, “If they approach us, we will see to it.”
When asked if his statement was at odds with MP Sanjay Singh’s statement just hours earlier, Rai simply said: “There is no time for ifs and buts. Now, we will focus only on our campaign.”
Delhi has seven Lok Sabha constituencies and will go for the polls on May 12. The AAP has announced candidates to all seven seats. Neither the Congress nor the BJP have announced their lists.
BENGALURU: At least two people were killed, while several others were left scrambling for shelter as heavy rainfall battered large parts of Bengaluru. Three workers were stuck in a flooded pipeline in Ullal Upanagara, and only one person managed to escape. The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday issued an Orange alert for urban and rural districts of Bengaluru, predicting heavy rainfall for the next 4-5 days.
The door is stained with tiny shreds of old peeling paint. The latch is entwined into a small lock so rusty that it has turned red. Green plants are growing uncut on the front. Studded with faded brasses, this is a traditional wood door you might chance upon in Old Delhi, or in any other historic neighbourhood such as Mehrauli. The lane otherwise consists of low altitude multi-storey housings. The fascinating door stands out.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday met a group of people who rescued dozens of people trapped from the multi-storey building in Mundka where at least 27 people died in a fire last week. Last Friday, a massive fire spread through the three floors of the building where a CCTV and Wi-Fi router assembling unit was being run illegally.
In a move aimed at reducing noise pollution and providing relief to people, especially students, ailing and the elderly, the Jammu municipal corporation on Tuesday passed a resolution for the removal of loudspeakers and public address systems operating without permission from religious and public places, evoking criticism from the rival Congress. Corporators from the Opposition stiffly opposed the decision and said that it will vitiate peaceful atmosphere of Jammu, known for brotherhood.
Security forces on Tuesday arrested two overground workers of Lashkar-e-Taiba from Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. “Police, along with security forces, have arrested two terrorist associates of proscribed terror outfit LeT in Budgam. Incriminating materials, explosives and ammunition were also recovered from their possession,” a police spokesman said.