Lok Sabha elections 2019: Rahul Gandhi says ‘open, flexible’ to alliance with AAP in Delhi
After days of suspense and uncertainty, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the party was “open and flexible” to partnering with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Replying to questions from the media at the release of the Congress’s election manifesto, Gandhi said there was no confusion on whether the party would go for an alliance with AAP in Delhi.
“There is no confusion on this (the alliance). The situation is actually very clear on this issue. We have constructed alliances; we have been open to construct alliances. We have done it across the country and we are flexible about it,” Gandhi said Tuesday.
AAP convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Monday told the media that Gandhi had said ‘no’ to an alliance with the ruling party in Delhi.
Gandhi headed a meeting with Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit and state in-charge PC Chacko on Tuesday morning where the decision to go ahead with the alliance was finalised and communicated to the state unit.
After the meeting, Dikshit, who had been opposing the partnership, remained evasive about the decision, saying, “You will know about it when it is announced.”
“In the meeting, Rahulji asked again what they (Dikshit and Chacko) feel on the tie-up with AAP. Chackoji was in favour of the alliance and Sheilaji maintained her earlier stand of being capable enough of fighting and winning the elections alone,” said a senior Congress functionary who was privy to the proceedings of the meeting.
The leader said a decision was taken in favour of the alliance and an official announcement was likely to come in the next two days.
He said senior functionaries of both parties were still negotiating the seat-sharing ratio. Though discussions around distribution of seats were still underway, the Congress has shown interest in New Delhi, West Delhi and Chandni Chowk constituencies, leaving East, South, North East and North West Delhi seats for AAP.
Senior leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad would be instrumental in finalising the deal on behalf of the Congress.
“The negotiations will continue between the party leaders. The important aspect was the decision itself on whether the alliance will happen or not,” a senior Delhi Congress leader said.