“Kab manaya humein, kab humse baat kari… Humein ye toh batayein?” said Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Sheila Dikshit Thursday, a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is tired of convincing the Congress to form an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking at a rally near Jama Masjid on Wednesday, the AAP chief had said: “I believe everywhere there should be one opposition candidate against BJP candidates. Hum Congress ko mana mana ke thak gaye, gatbandhan karlo, gatbandhan karlo (We got tired of trying to convince the Congress for an alliance). I want to ask, should there be a coalition or not? If there is a coalition, the BJP will be routed in Delhi… I don’t know what is in their (Congress’s) mind.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dikshit said: “These statements have no basis. We haven’t been approached by the AAP regarding a coalition. How can he keep saying this again and again? All these proposals are coming out only in the media; nothing concrete has come to us.”
According to sources, senior AAP leaders have been speaking to Congress leaders at the national level over the past three months. The alliance was also discussed in a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi last week. The resistance, senior AAP leaders claimed, has come from the Delhi unit of the Congress, which “believes it can win in a few seats without AAP”. After the meeting, Kejriwal had said that the Congress has “more or less” ruled out an alliance with AAP.
Calling it an act of “desperation”, DPCC working president Rajesh Lilothia also rejected the idea of forming an alliance with the AAP. “The continuous statements made by AAP is a desperate attempt to have a coalition. We will contest and win all seven constituencies in the upcoming polls. The party is standing together now and is much stronger. Preparations are on, let the fight begin,” he told The Indian Express.
“These people (AAP) have already accepted defeat… With their loss, AAP will be fully exposed to the public. Our workers are quite enthusiastic and we are fully prepared to fight the elections. We have a strong team and, therefore, we find no reason to go for any coalition,” said Devender Yadav, also a DPCC working president.
The AAP leadership, meanwhile, brushed aside Dikshit’s comments. “These statements show that Congress is working according to a plan. They are also trying to weaken the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. In a way, they are helping the BJP win. As for desperation, these are childish comments that are not expected from a seasoned politician like Dikshit,” said AAP national spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj.