Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said former party chief Rahul Gandhi had not been “not properly advised” by partymen regarding an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). If the Congress had joined hands with AAP in the Delhi Assembly elections, the party, which couldn’t win a single seat, would not have “lost so badly”, he said.
“I believe there should have been an open alliance between the AAP and Congress in Delhi. The party made a mistake by not aligning with AAP. The Congress would have only gained and not lost as badly as it did,” Chavan told The Indian Express.
Asked about rumours that the Congress had secretly backed AAP, Chavan said, “Why secretly? There should have been discussions and joining hands with AAP. There would have been a turnaround in the fortunes of the Congress as well.” “The decision not to join hands with AAP was taken by local leaders. They should have joined hands with AAP,” he said, adding, “I think local leaders did not give proper advice to Rahul Gandhi. The way the party fared, it seemed like had we joined hands with AAP, the party would have at least had some presence and not settled for nothing in Delhi,” he said.
On the AAP’s victory, he said, “It’s a stunning and unadulterated victory. The Congress was expecting to cross the double digit mark… finishing with nothing reflects badly on the party’s efforts.”
Meanwhile, villagers of Ralegan Siddhi celebrated Kejriwal’s victory by bursting crackers and distributing sweets. However, activist Anna Hazare, who had launched a massive anti-corruption movement in 2011 with Kejriwal by his side, refused to comment as he is on a maun vrat, demanding that killers of Nirbhaya be hanged immediately. “Hazare has not reacted, but villagers celebrated Kejriwal’s victory,” said Datta Awari, an aide of Hazare’s.
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