Explained: Why, despite hectic talks, still no clarity on AAP-Congress alliance in Delhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-despite-hectic-talks-still-no-clarity-on-aap-congress-alliance/

Explained: Why, despite hectic talks, still no clarity on AAP-Congress alliance in Delhi

AAP had said that a final decision on the polls will be communicated on Saturday. The press conference this morning, however, did nothing to help clarify if the two parties will join forces.

Congress, AAP alliance Lok Sabha elections in Delhi
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and AAP leader Sanjay Singh address the media in New Delhi on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

After months of feverish negotiations, there is still no final word on an alliance between Aam Aadmi Party and Congress for the Lok Sabha elections. AAP had said that a final decision on the polls will be communicated on Saturday. The press conference this morning, however, did nothing to help clarify if the two parties will join forces.

Senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that after offering two seats to Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) in Haryana, Congress went back on the offer Friday night. AAP and JJP — founded by Dushyant and Digvijay Chautala — have already formed an alliance in the state.

Neither Sisodia nor AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who also addressed the press conference, clarified whether AAP will go for an alliance in Delhi alone, keeping Haryana out of the picture.

Congress AAP alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections in Delhi
Sisodia and Singh. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

When asked if they will agree to an alliance in Delhi alone, Sisodia said, “If we give three seats to Congress in Delhi, BJP will win” signalling that AAP will not form an alliance without some seats being offered in Haryana as well.

Advertising

When asked about rumours that AAP has offered to give two seats to Congress in Delhi if Haryana is off the table, Sisodia said, “Alliances are not formed in press conferences.” The final decision that AAP said it will communicate, therefore is still not final.

The negotiation process has been long, with both parties having started serious discussions sometime in September last year. Since February, both Congress and AAP leaders have publicly discussed seat-sharing and each other’s views.

Congress, AAP alliance Lok Sabha elections in Delhi
Since February, both Congress and AAP leaders have publicly discussed seat-sharing and each other’s views. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

AAP on Friday postponed the nomination and road shows for three of its candidates — Atishi (East Delhi), Guggan Singh (North West Delhi) and Pankaj Gupta (Chandni Chowk) — saying it was giving Congress one last chance to take a final call.

The last day for nomination is April 23 and the final list of candidates will be declared on April 26.

AAP as declared candidates on all seven seats, while Congress and BJP are yet to declare names on a single seat. In Haryana, AAP has already allied with JJP, where AAP will contest on three out of 10 seats.

Congress has been promising that it will declare its candidates soon every day, but with days to go for nominations (Sunday is a holiday) no names have been declared.

BJP, too, sources say, is waiting for the final word on the alliance before it makes the declaration.