“If the high command decides to go for an alliance, we will automatically accept it,” Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit told The Indian Express Monday, days after she announced that the Congress will not tie-up with the AAP in Delhi and would fight alone in the Lok Sabha polls.
Dikshit and some leaders from the Delhi Congress have so far been opposed to an alliance with the AAP, while central leaders are largely in favour of it. A final call on the coalition is likely to be taken by party president Rahul Gandhi in the next few days. Delhi will vote on May 12.
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When contacted, P C Chacko, AICC general secretary, told The Indian Express: “The 14 district committee presidents and four former presidents of the Delhi Congress unit are in favour of having an alliance with AAP. Sheila ji and some leaders are not in support of the idea. I have passed on the opinions of all of them to Rahul ji and requested him to come up with a decision which is favourable for the party.”
Dikshit and the three working DPCC presidents have also written to Rahul, conveying their stand on the alliance. An internal survey was recently conducted via the party’s Shakti app to seek the opinion of 52,000 Delhi Congress workers on an alliance. The results of the survey have been passed on to Rahul. Click here for more election stories
According to sources, once a decision is taken, the Congress Delhi unit will have to work on the seat-sharing calculation. The formula currently under discussion is to share three seats each, while the seventh will be contested by a joint candidate. Both parties are also keen on the New Delhi seat, where Congress wants to field former DPCC chief Ajay Maken, it is learnt.
The screening committee of the Congress will submit a list of shortlisted candidates to Rahul for final selection. “Polls in Delhi are quite late. Before that, the party has to finalise names in other states,” said a senior leader.
The wait, however, is proving to be frustrating for AAP, with senior leaders confused about the status of alliance talks. “Every day, we hear new theories or formulae about seat sharing that the Congress floats in the media. No conversations are happening with AAP leaders. All of these are one-sided conversations. The wait has now become frustrating. While the AAP is open to an alliance, these games are not going down well with us,” said a senior leader.
The Congress is not alone in facing resistance from cadres on the question of an alliance. AAP volunteers, too, are unhappy with the prospect as they feel they will lose ground during the Assembly polls next year.
“We have spoken to our volunteers and explained why the alliance is important. If the Congress is interested in saving the nation, they must do the same. Indecision is not going to help anyone but the BJP,” the leader said.