AAP-Congress not in ‘permanent marriage’, says Arvind Kejriwal ahead of polling in Punjab | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

AAP-Congress not in ‘permanent marriage’, says Arvind Kejriwal ahead of polling in Punjab

By, New Delhi
May 29, 2024 03:15 PM IST

Though members of the opposition INDIA bloc, the two parties are contesting separately in Punjab. All 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state will vote on Saturday.

Three days before the single-phase Lok Sabha polls in Punjab – the state has 13 parliamentary seats – AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that his party's alliance with the Congress is not “permanent.”

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)

“The AAP is not in a permanent marriage with the Congress,” Kejriwal told India Today in an exclusive interview, adding that for now, the arch-rivals aim to defeat the ruling BJP, and end the current regime's “dictatorship” and “goondagardi."

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“It is important to save the country. The AAP and Congress came together wherever an alliance was needed to defeat the BJP by putting up a joint candidate. The BJP has no existence in Punjab,” the Delhi chief minister stated.

As members of the wider INDIA bloc, both parties contested together in Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Goa, and Gujarat. In Punjab, however, where the AAP ousted the Congress from power in March 2020, local units of the two parties had strongly opposed any potential union in the state.

In the previous 2019 national elections, the Congress won eight Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, while two each were bagged by then allies BJP and Akali Dal. From the AAP, on the other hand, only one candidate was victorious.

Saturday's polling will mark the seventh and last phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, and will be held on as many as 57 parliamentary segments. In the first six phases, voting was conducted on April 19, 26, May 7, 13, 20, and 25.

The BJP is seeking its third straight term at the Centre, and a third consecutive single-party majority. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, is looking for a hattrick of terms in the country's top office.

Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, is out on interim bail in the Delhi excise policy case. Arrested on March 21, he was granted bail by the Supreme Court on May 10 to campaign for the elections. He has to surrender on June 2, two days ahead of the counting of votes.

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