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Maken refuses to contest polls if no alliance with AAP in Delhi

NEW DELHI: Former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken has expressed his unwillingness to contest the Lok Sabha elections in absence of an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Sources say Ajay Maken voiced his concern after central leadership of the Congress asked for names from all seven seats if there is no alliance with AAP in Delhi. Ajay Maken had earlier cleared that he will support an alliance with the AAP in Delhi even if he was not fielded as a candidate from the New Delhi constituency. Maken has represented New Delhi twice in the Lok Sabha.

On the other hand, two term MP Kapil Sibal has already been claimed that he will "certainly contest" from Delhi's Chandni Chowk seat in the Lok Sabha, irrespective of whether there is an alliance between his party and AAP. Sibal had won twice from Chandni Chowk in 2004 and 2009 before losing to BJP leader Harsh Vardhan in 2014.

Asked about his views whether there should be an alliance between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, Sibal said: "I don't know that is for the party to decide. There are two views within the party." "I will certainly contest the Chandni Chowk seat, alliance or no alliance," the 70-year-old leader asserted.

The Congress and AAP have been working on the possibility of an alliance in the Lok Sabha polls but are yet to announce the final decision. So far, AAP leaders have accused the Congress of indecisiveness. Leaders in Congress' Delhi unit have remained divided. Those not in favour of a tie-up feel they need to stay anti-AAP ahead of the 2020 Delhi assembly elections.

The new development hints at a possible rebellion in the Delhi Congress unit. While Maken is from the pro-alliance faction, current president Dixit drives the other one. Seat sharing has been a bone of contention for both AAP, Congress.

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