The Congress “nearly said no” to an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said, a day after a late event dinner meeting between key Opposition leaders in New Delhi.
Pitching for a united Opposition to take on the BJP, Kejriwal said: “I believe the country is facing a big challenge. If two candidates are fielded against the BJP in Delhi, then it will essentially help the BJP. Same is the case in UP.”
“I believe that we are actually concerned about the interests of the nation. Congress has nearly said no to alliance,” he added.
On Wednesday, hours after the last sitting of the 16th Lok Sabha, leaders of six Opposition parties met at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in Delhi and discussed the idea of a national pre-poll alliance for the coming elections.
The leaders part of the meeting were Rahul Gandhi (Congress), Mamata Banerjee (TMC), N Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) and Farooq Abdullah (National Conference).
These leaders had gathered at Pawar’s residence after having lent support to an Opposition rally organised by AAP at Jantar Mantar where leaders of SP, CPI(M), CPI and RJD among others also participated. However, leaders from other parties who came in support for AAP’s rally were conspicuous by their absence at the dinner meeting.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mamata Banerjee said the Opposition discussed the idea of a national pre-poll alliance for the coming elections with a common minimum programme.
“We need to coordinate. It is clear that our slogan — Sabko ek rakho, desh ko bachao; Save India from disaster, from the hands of BJP, Modi and Amit Shah, resonates… Modi hatao, desh bachao… We will go in for a pre-poll alliance so that it doesn’t become a post-poll irritant… We are in agreement on the idea of a common minimum agenda/programme. Rahul will share a draft with us,” West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said