Pawar pitches in as Cong, AAP make fresh efforts for alliance
NEW DELHI: Nationalist Congress Party chief 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.
Sources said the Congress leadership is also in talks with AAP leaders and senior leaders within the party are trying to convince Delhi Congress leaders for an alliance with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP.
The Congress had earlier decided to go alone in Delhi after talks with AAP failed and local leaders favoured that the party contests LS polls alone. The Delhi Congress leaders felt that "saving" the party was crucial in Delhi in view of impending assembly elections in the state slated later.
AICC general secretary in charge of Delhi Congress, PC Chacko, said: "I am in consultation with Congress party leaders in Delhi on the possibilities of forging an alliance with AAP."
"The Congress Working Committee has decided to align with like-minded parties across the country to defeat the BJP in Lok Sabha elections. I hope Delhi Congress leaders also go by this sentiment and decide on an alliance with AAP, but a final decision will be taken by the Congress president very soon," Chacko said. Chacko's views are at variance with Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit, who had made it clear that aligning with AAP will not be in the party's interests keeping in view the assembly election in the national capital slated later.
On other hands, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit has written to party president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi saying forging an alliance with the AAP for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Delhi will harm the party in the long run. In the letter, Dikshit and working presidents Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia protested a recent phone survey to gauge workers' mood on the alliance. Dikshit and the working presidents have urged the Congress chief not to have an alliance with the AAP, saying it will harm the party in the long run, said a Delhi Congress leader.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said after meeting Pawar that with the Constitution, democracy and the country in 'danger' under the Modi government, attempts should be made by all opposition parties to unite and come together to fight it out. "The party can be saved later ... there will be enough time to save the party. Right now the attempt should be to save the country and democracy, which is in danger due to the Modi government," he said, without giving details of his meeting with Pawar.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday stated that it will not have any pre-poll alliance with Congress in Delhi and will contest all seven Lok Sabha seats alone. "This time we are really serious about it," Delhi convenor Gopal Rai said when asked how serious the party is this time about its decision this time.
"The indecision in Congress has killed our time for the campaign. We made all possible efforts for alliance but now there is no room for reconsideration," Rai said.