Congress Decides against Tie-Up with AAP, Says 'Don't Have Confidence' in Kejriwal-Led Party

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), July 7, 2018 | Go to article overview

Congress Decides against Tie-Up with AAP, Says 'Don't Have Confidence' in Kejriwal-Led Party


India, July 7 -- The Congress decided against forging any understanding with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after an internal survey and consultations at different levels showed that a tie-up could hurt the prospects of the grand old party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the national capital, the party's Delhi in-charge PC Chacko said.

The view was endorsed by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, who claimed that the party "does not have confidence" in the AAP given that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal recently stated that he will support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls if the central government grants statehood to Delhi.

The decision came in the wake of "feelers" from AAP, a Congress leader said on condition of anonymity. He claimed that at a recent chance meeting in Delhi, a senior AAP leader told a top Congress functionary that his party was staunchly anti-BJP.

The Congress functionary was also told that the AAP leadership has given clear directions to its three Rajya Sabha members to work in close coordination with the Congress and other opposition parties on issues of national importance.

HT has learnt that this meeting happened after the AAP's protest at the Lieutenant Governor (LG)'s residence, during which there was widespread speculation that the Congress would support the party.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj blamed the Congress for "spreading the rumour" that his party was keen on an alliance. "But later they themselves denied it," he said. "They have zero seats in the assembly. We wish them the same in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls."

The Congress is maintaining its distance from the AAP despite the overture as it considers Delhi an exception in the opposition's plan to put up a united fight to oust the BJP in the 2019 general elections, Chacko said.

The Congress stayed away from the AAP sit-in at the Lieutenant Governor's residence last month, based on feedback from both Delhi leaders and a survey of its workers, although other opposition leaders Mamata Banerjee, HD Kumaraswamy, Pinarayi Vijayan and N Chandrababu Naidu visited Kejriwal's house in a show of support. …

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