All possibilities are open, said AAP Delhi chief Gopal Rai on Wednesday, about an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year. He added that the party will not contest all Lok Sabha seats, unlike in 2014. Rai, however, added that AAP was also ready to go alone in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
“We are preparing for elections fully in the three states. By February, the list of candidates is expected to be out. We, however, are also assessing the situation nationally. AAP stands against BJP’s ‘Hitlershahi’. We want a democratic government at the Centre so that states can have a good working relationship with it. The party is watching the situation in all states. Our only aim is to end BJP’s dictatorship. Things are changing very quickly and it is difficult to predict political scenarios… We know that we want a strong AAP voice in Parliament. All possibilities are open,” he said.
According to party insiders, despite a vocal Delhi Congress campaign against AAP and Delhi Congress head Ajay Maken attacking the party on several occasions and ruling out an alliance, AAP is waiting to hear from senior leaders in the Congress.
There is also a division within AAP over alliance talks. While a section has said an understanding with Congress will mar its Assembly poll future in 2020, other leaders believe that an alliance with Congress and other opposition parties is the only way to ensure a national role for AAP going forward.
“It basically depends on what the party wants — more Lok Sabha seats or to win Delhi on its own again,” a senior party leader said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who got a one-year extension as party chief last week, is going to hold meetings with leaders and constituency in-charges in Delhi as well as in other states.
Starting January 10, he will hold meetings with upwards of 800 people from each of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi. The first meeting will be held with volunteers from south Delhi.
The party has also asked its leaders from states other than Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Goa to send a proposal for the number on seats they want to contest. The Political Affairs Committee will take a final call.
“We will assess where we have a good chance to win and then go ahead. We don’t want to be a party which cuts votes of other opposition candidates,” Rai said.