No talks between AAP, Congress on alliance: Kejriwal

Visakhapatnam: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that no talks were going on with the Congress for an alliance in the national capital and that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had vetoed the idea.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief made the remark at the Visakhapatnam airport while leaving for Delhi, a day after he attended an election rally along with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee on the invitation of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

“There is nothing on an alliance with Congress. We had one meeting with Rahul Gandhi where he refused to have an alliance with AAP,” Kejriwal told IANS.

On Delhi Congress President Sheila Dikshit’s statement that the AAP did not approach the party, he said: “If we have talked to him (Gandhi), there is no need to talk” to anyone else. In any case, “she (Dikshit) is a junior leader”, he said.

At the public rally in Andhra Pradesh, Kejriwal said the AAP did not need the Congress in Delhi. “We can win all seven seats in Delhi without Congress support. We (AAP) need Congress support only in Haryana.”

Leading opposition leaders had earlier pressed for an alliance between the AAP and Congress to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi that were won by the BJP in 2014. The AAP had finished second in all seven places.

Informed sources said the AAP had made it clear that if at all there was to be an alliance, it would contest on five seats and give only two to the Congress in Delhi.

The AAP’s argument was that having a single candidate against the BJP in every Lok Sabha constituency across the country would ensure that opposition votes were not split.

Leaders in the Congress in Delhi were also divided over an alliance with the AAP. While Dikshit and others objected to it considering long-term repercussions, a section wanted to shake hands with the AAP.

Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar tried to bring about a Congress-AAP alliance in Delhi.

Delhi will vote on May 12. The results will be declared on May 23.