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Differences surface in Cong over alliance with AAP

Differences surface in Cong over alliance with AAP

New Delhi: Differences among senior Delhi Congress leaders over the issue of a possible tie-up with AAP in Delhi in the Lok Sabha elections surfaced on Thursday with the party's Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit questioning the move to seek opinion of party workers through a mobile app.

In the survey, through the recorded voice of AICC incharge of Delhi unit PC Chacko, opinion of 52,000 Delhi Congress workers, registered on party's Shakti app, were sought. They were asked if they favoured an alliance with AAP in Delhi.

Dikshit questioned the move by Chacko and former Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, saying it was "overriding" the decision taken against the alliance by Rahul Gandhi.

"There should be no confusion. Our stand remains what it was," she said referring to her meeting with Rahul Gandhi earlier this month after which she had said there was unanimity in the party against alliance with the AAP in Delhi.

The survey concluded on Thursday with Maken saying it was backed by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. "This is Rahul Gandhi's decision.It is under the direction of Rahul ji that this referendum, in a way, is being done. So, if anyone is questioning in the Congress, the decision of Rahul ji, I think its wrong," Maken told reporters.

He said the Shakti app is used by Rahul Gandhi and PC Chacko does not have the phone numbers of 52,000 workers.

"It is on the directions of Gandhi only that Shakti app is being utilised. The app is controlled by data department which comes directly under Rajul Gandhi," he said.

The former Delhi Congress chief also expressed surprise on opposition to the survey.

The Delhi Congress leaders however sought to downplay the matter saying "difference of opinion" was a sign of healthy democratic system in the party".

"It is only logical that people have different opinion on some issue. It is a sign of healthy democratic system in the party," said Delhi Congress working president Rajesh Lilothia.

With the announcement of date of Lok sabha polls in Delhi, the issue of alliance between the two parties has taken centre stage, although both sides have yet to reach to any conclusion on the issue. Delhi will go for polls on the seven Lok Sabha seats on May 12.

In a convention of Delhi's booth level workers, Gandhi had said that it was up to them that the party would win all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.

Meanwhile, AAP has already set its agenda of fighting the upcoming elections on the issue of full statehood and it might be late now for talks on an alliance in Delhi, a senior party leader Thursday said a day after Congress sought views from its workers on a possible tie-up with the ruling party.

In the message sent to the party workers through its mobile application, the Congress is trying to untangle the contentious issue of alliance with AAP, he added.

Reacting to the move, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said talks on alliance might be late now.

"There is a very big challenge in front of the country and it is late now (for an alliance). After the official statement of the Congress, AAP thought if Congress is moving towards helping BJP, we need to stop the BJP and based on that we announced our candidates and launched our campaign following that.

"So AAP has moved ahead with the agenda of full statehood and alliance is not an agenda for the AAP," he told reporters.

According to sources, AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal met senior party members after Congress sought views through the audio clip. It was decided in the meeting that now the AAP would react only when the Congress gives an official proposal for alliance, sources said. Senior party member Sanjay Singh said Congress is in a "confused state".

"I think the Congress is in a confused state and they are not able to decide when or what decision should be taken. The biggest challenge in front of the country is stop the politics of hatred by the BJP.

"Congress' priority should be how the country should be protected from the country. But the Congress is giving different statements," he said.

There has been a flip-flop over alliance between the Congress and AAP over an alliance. in Delhi. Earlier, Delhi Congress Chief Sheila Dikshit, after a meeting with Congress national president Rahul Gandhi, had claimed that there is unanimity against alliance with the AAP.

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