Monday, April 8, 2019

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Haryana or nothing, AAP tells Congress on seat-sharing pact

The AAP leadership, however, made it clear it would go for an alliance in Delhi only if discussions on seat-sharing in Haryana were made part of the deal. While AAP has asked for the Gurugram, Faridabad and Karnal seats in Haryana, the Congress wants New Delhi, Chandni Chowk and Northwest Delhi seats in the Capital, party leaders said. AAP,Congress,AAP Congress alliance talks
Delhi chief minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses an election rally at Delhi Cantt on April 1.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)



Hardening its stand on an alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday said joining hands with the party would have no meaning if the seat-sharing pact is not implemented both in Haryana and Delhi.



Talking to reporters, AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai said the party was capable of defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alone in Delhi.

“From the first day, our talks have not been about an alliance in Delhi alone. We have been talking only about defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For this, instead of fighting from across the country like AAP did in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, we offered to fight from only 33 seats with support from the Congress and other regional parties. But the Congress doesn’t look interested,” Rai said.

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Rai’s comment came a day after Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the grand old party had no plans to go for an alliance with AAP in Haryana and Punjab. For Delhi, Surjewala had said a decision was awaited from the top leadership.

The AAP leadership, however, made it clear it would go for an alliance in Delhi only if discussions on seat-sharing in Haryana were made part of the deal. While AAP has asked for the Gurugram, Faridabad and Karnal seats in Haryana, the Congress wants New Delhi, Chandni Chowk and Northwest Delhi seats in the Capital, party leaders said.

“The Congress is in ‘maha’ confusion and every day this is getting exposed. I want to ask Surjewala why does the Congress want to repeat the mistake it did during the Jind by-elections. For Punjab, they (the Congress) said it is stronger and that Captain Amarinder is not in favour of an alliance,” Rai said.

Rai said the Arvind Kejriwal-led party feels AAP, the Congress and the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) can together win 10 parliamentary seats in Haryana. “But the Congress is engrossed in self-love and we do understand its unnecessary ego,” Rai said.

Delhi goes to polls on May 12 and, so far, only AAP has declared its candidates in all seven parliamentary constituencies. Talks between the Congress and AAP for an alliance in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab have been going on for nearly seven months now. But the Congress is yet to give a final word, despite repeated offers from AAP. In several public meetings, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had even said that his party was “tired” of proposing an alliance to the Congress “again and again”.-HT

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