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Decision will be taken soon, says Dikshit on Congress-AAP alliance

NEW DELHI: Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said that a decision on an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party would be announced soon. The AAP has been seeking an alliance with the Congress in Delhi but the grand old party seemed not very keen on tying up with Delhi's ruling party. "You will get to know about it (alliance with AAP) in a matter of few hours, by this evening or by tomorrow. There will be an official announcement," Sheila Dikshit was quoted as saying by news agency.

Senior Congress leaders had said though a "consensus has been reached" between the top leadership of the two parties, the two camps have so far been unable to finalise a seat-sharing arrangement for the seven parliamentary segments in the city. Delhi Congress in-charge PC Chacko had said the announcement of the alliance will take some more time as "a lot of things will have to be worked out with the AAP". "A decision on the alliance needs to be taken by Congress president Rahul Gandhi ji, but a lot of things also need to be worked out with the other party (AAP)," Chacko said.

The AAP wants the alliance to extend to Punjab for sure, and perhaps even Haryana and Goa, two other states where it has some presence. The formula likely to be suggested by the Congress to AAP leaders is that the two parties contest three seats each with the seventh going to a consensus candidate or a celebrity.

Earlier this month, Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar on Tuesday stepped in to help Rahul Gandhi's Congress and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party work out an alliance in the national capital for the Lok Sabha elections. Pawar also reached out to AAP's Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh soon after.

It was the second effort by Pawar to help stitch the alliance, in mid-February he had hosted a dinner for top opposition leaders at his house that brought Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal to the same room. Over dinner, there were many suggestions at this meeting that the Congress and AAP should join hands in Delhi.

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