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Rahul Gandhi to meet Delhi Congress leaders, alliance with AAP on agenda

The meeting comes after senior Congress leaders said the party was likely to announce the alliance with AAP in the next 48 hours.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 25, 2019 10:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lok Sabha elections 2019,Rahul Gandhi,Delhi Congress
The AAP has been insisting on a 5:2 seat distribution (five for AAP and two for Congress), but the Congress has stuck to its demand for a 3:3:1 seat sharing arrangement (three for AAP, three for Congress and one for an independent).(PTI file)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will meet leaders of the party’s Delhi unit on Monday to discuss alliance with Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, an issue that has remained unresolved with less than two months to go for polls.

Though both parties have time and again declared they were not interested in alliance, with AAP even declaring its candidates, sources says party mediators have been in talks to work out a pact for the May 12 polls.

Rahul Gandhi will hold the meeting at his residence. The meeting comes after senior Congress leaders said the party was likely to announce the alliance with AAP in the next 48 hours.

“We might hear something positive on the alliance by Sunday evening. (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi will be meeting some senior leaders and we hope a decision is taken,” PC Chacko, Delhi Congress in-charge, said.

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The AAP has been insisting on a 5:2 seat distribution (five for AAP and two for Congress), but the Congress has stuck to its demand for a 3:3:1 seat sharing arrangement (three for AAP, three for Congress and one for an independent).

Senior leaders of the Congress and AAP, who have been mediating the talks to form the alliance, said the New Delhi constituency is one of the seats over which both parties have laid a claim.

Former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, who has represented the seat twice in the Lok Sabha, on Saturday said he would support an alliance with AAP even if he was not fielded as a candidate from the constituency.

Maken said for the larger interest, he was willing to give up the constituency— he has been campaigning in the area ever since he gave up the post of Delhi Congress chief— if the party leadership so decides.

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“I have expressed my support for the alliance and my personal candidature comes after this,” he said.

AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai, however, said his party is no longer in any “official talks” with the Congress.

“There are no talks happening. How can an announcement happen without involving the other party concerned? How can they announce an alliance tomorrow when we are not aware of it?” he asked.

The AAP and the Congress have talked about allying with each other several times before.

First Published: Mar 25, 2019 10:01 IST