Rumors are rife in the Capital that once bitter rivals for the throne of Delhi, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are discussing to join ranks. Congress is trying to bring together all regional Opposition parties as a united front to confront the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2019. However, the Congress party’s Delhi chief, Ajay Maken was quick to quash all such gossip. Though seat-sharing for Delhi could still be a possibility if both the parties are able to agree on seat-sharing.
As the battleground gets set for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress is triggering alliances against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP with all regional parties. Many have begun taking shape too. Mirroring the ‘Mahagathbandhan‘ template of the Bihar Assembly elections of 2015 and the recent Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine in Karnataka, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress are in talks of a similar alliance in Delhi.
According to sources, informal talks between the Congress and AAP started on May 24, with Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken representing Congress.
A source on condition of anonymity due to their proximity to the alliance talks, has added that it’s AAP that had approached the Congress for an alliance, with an offer of a 5:2 ratio for seat sharing in Delhi – five seats for the AAP and two for the Congress.
The Congress party, however, has demanded three of the seven Delhi seats. These are, New Delhi for Sharmishtha Mukherjee , Chandni Chowk for Ajay Maken and North West Delhi for Rajkumar Chauhan. However, the talks seem have hit a stumbling block as AAP is not willing to give up more than two seats to the Congress.
The speculations about the rumored alliance got further boost after the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal praised former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Twitter last week. Kejriwal had earlier been a strong critic of Manmohan Singh going as far to say in 2013 that, “Manmohan failed to check corruption within Congress and his own government”.
People missing an educated PM like Dr Manmohan Singh
Its dawning on people now -“PM तो पढ़ा लिखा ही होना चाहिए।” https://t.co/BQTVtMbTO2
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 31, 2018
However, it is still not clear whether Congress president, Rahul Gandhi has given a green signal to the party on the alliance.
Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP appointed Lok Sabha prabharis (in-charges) from five of Delhi’s seven Parliamentary constituencies in the Capital yesterday. The appointees include, Atishi Marlena and Raghav Chadha, who were recently removed from the posts of advisors to ministers on the recommendation of the Union Home Ministry.
Congress’ Ajay Maken – who is rumored to have been a part of the delegation – has denied reports of the talks on AAP-Congress alliance, ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls.