AAP-Congress talk about talks ahead of Lok Sabha elections

Sources in the Congress said that in the last three months, AAP has made at least three attempts to keep channels of communication open with the central leadership.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Updated: June 3, 2018 4:51:53 am
Assembly Bypoll Results 2018 Live: A pre-poll alliance between the two parties is highly unlikely, a senior Congress leader said. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

A day after the Aam Aadmi Party claimed senior Congress leaders were in touch with them over a possible seat-sharing arrangement ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls, sources in the Congress said that in the last three months, AAP has made at least three attempts to keep channels of communication open with the central leadership. That said, a pre-poll alliance between the two parties is highly unlikely, a senior Congress leader added.

Elaborating on the instances of outreach, the leader said, “At a public function attended by leaders of both parties, a senior AAP leader asked why the Congress was not open to talks with the AAP — despite being warm to leaders in other states. Before that, AAP’s three Rajya Sabha MPs had sought suggestions from Ghulam Nabi Azad on the strategy they ought to follow in the Upper House. Azad ji advised that as the opposition, they should criticise things that go against public welfare.”

The Congress leader also claimed that the AAP had sent “two-three letters” to Rahul Gandhi, including one seeking time for a meeting to resolve the sealing issue.

AAP, on the other hand, maintained the Congress wants its support. In a tweet tagging Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Friday, AAP leader Dilip Pandey had said, “Some senior Congress leaders are in touch with AAP and want our support in Haryana, Delhi and Punjab. They are asking us for one seat in Delhi.”

A senior AAP leader said the fact that the party has released names of in-charges in only five Lok Sabha seats instead of all seven “has led to speculation among workers, who wonder if a tie-up with the Congress is on the cards”.

But the Congress leader said that since the party is “playing the role of opposition” in the capital, the possibility of joining hands with the AAP remains low.

He, however, added that AAP can join a “post-poll alliance with a common agenda to oppose the BJP”.

Maken, meanwhile, said no party worker or leader wants an alliance with AAP at a time when its “graph” is “declining fast”.

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