Rahul Gandhi refused to join hands with AAP, says Kejriwal
Delhi has seven Lok Sabha seats and it will go to polls on May 12. So far, AAP is the only party to have announced their candidates for all the seven seats in the national capital. The party launched its campaign on March 23, with the primary poll plank being full statehood for Delhi.Updated: Apr 02, 2019 04:59 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said Congress president Rahul Gandhi has refused an alliance with his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the national capital.
Talking to reporters at the Visakhapatnam airport on Monday morning after attending election rallies in favour of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Kejriwal said he had met Gandhi “recently” and the Congress leader had refused to “join hands with AAP”.
The AAP national convener was also asked about Congress’ Delhi unit president Sheila Dikshit’s remarks that he had never approached her for talks on an alliance to which he replied, “We have met Rahul Gandhi. Dikshit is not that important a leader.”
Following Kejriwal’s statement, AAP senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Singh, also denied that the party has received any offer for an alliance from the Congress so far.
Delhi has seven Lok Sabha seats and it will go to polls on May 12. So far, AAP is the only party to have announced their candidates for all the seven seats in the national capital. The party launched its campaign on March 23, with the primary poll plank being full statehood for Delhi.
Talks between the Congress and the AAP for an alliance in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab have been going on for nearly six months now. But, the Congress is yet to give a final word on the poll pact despite repeated offers from the AAP. In several public meetings, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had even said that his party is “tired” of proposing an alliance to the Congress “again and again”.
On Monday, AAP leader Sanjay Singh criticised the Congress for targeting regional parties instead of focusing on defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said the Congress was not contesting from the places where the BJP has a stronghold such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh – states where it has a straight fight with the BJP.
“Congress’ strategy is only benefiting the BJP. Now, they are more interested in ending regional parties. They are contesting against SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. It is contesting against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and recently also against the Left in Kerala, which used to be their ally,” he said.
Delhi Congress spokesperson Ramakant Goswami said that on one hand the AAP was “desperately begging” the Congress for an alliance and on the other they were criticising their leaders and challenging their policies and ideologies.
Last month, it was Sanjay Singh who had taken AAP’s offer for an alliance to NCP leader Sharad Pawar, who was acting as a mediator. Singh had asked Pawar to convey to the Congress that AAP was ready to give two seats to the party in Delhi and keep five with itself. However, AAP functionaries said the party has not heard from the Congress on the issue.