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Explainer: Will Chandigarh Mayor issue bring AAP and Congress closer

The fact that BJP can be put on the mat if INDIA alliance unites is something that most political analysts agree on

Explainer: Will Chandigarh Mayor issue bring AAP and Congress closer

The AAP is still in talks with the Congress over the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. PTI file



Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, February 21

Will the Supreme Court verdict favouring the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress on the Chandigarh Mayor issue bring the two parties closer to burying their differences on seat sharing? Observers say “unlikely”.  

The fact that BJP can be put on the mat if the INDIA alliance unites is something that most political analysts agree on. However, after what happened in Punjab (where the Congress and AAP “mutually agreeing” to contest separately), Gujarat and Goa, there seems to be a big question mark on the possibility of any relevant arrangements for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.   

“In Punjab, the Congress and AAP have mutually agreed to contest the polls separately. There is no hostility over this,” AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was quoted as saying. 

The AAP is still in talks with the Congress over the seven Lok Sabha seats in the National Capital. “We are in talks with the Congress over an alliance in Delhi. We are discussing seat-sharing arrangements. The BJP will have it easy if there is no alliance (between Congress and AAP),” he also said

United INDIA can defeat BJP

"INDIA can defeat the BJP if it unites,” was the first statement by AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor, the newly elected Mayor of Chandigarh. Kumar was made the Mayor on Tuesday after the Supreme Court overturned returning officer Anil Masih’s decision rejecting eight votes of AAP and Congress councillors on February 1.

Many saw this as an important moral and legal victory for the AAP and the Congress at a time when the two parties were discussing seat-sharing arrangements, including in Delhi. 

As per Kejriwal the announcement on Delhi seat-sharing will be made very soon. 

Several rounds of discussions have already taken place between the two parties and whether one seat that AAP is said to be offering will be acceptable to the Congress remains a big question. 

The BJP holds all seven parliamentary segments in Delhi.

AAP-Congress—Gujarat, Goa

Even though a last-ditch effort is being made for seat-sharing in Delhi, according to reports AAP’s take-it-or-leave-it offer has already been rejected by the Congress, 

Though reports also suggest that Congress' Mukul Wasnik-led national alliance committee is trying to persuade the AAP to come finalise an arrangement to defeat the BJP, it seems that the Grand Old Party is not interested in giving up many seats in Gujarat

The AAP has announced candidates from two seats in Gujarat and also for the South Goa constituency, a Congress seat.

Congress leader Salman Khurshid was quoted as saying that his party was in talks with the AAP over seat sharing and that an amicable solution will be found for South Goa.

AAP eyeing Congress space

Observers, in fact, say that the AAP appears to be “eying the Congress space in India’s politics” rather than working with it to defeat BJP.  

“AAP knows it has a chance in Punjab, which is why it is contesting all the 13 seats on its own. The Congress and the AAP are also unlikely to reach any arrangement for the 10 seats of Haryana. It seems, Kejriwal is aware that dislodging BJP from its space is not an easy task and an easier way is to try for Congress space,” they say.

What happens in Chandigarh

So far as the Chandigarh Mayoral elections are concerned, it may end up becoming the only example of the AAP-Congress unity if things continue the way they are at present. 

Though Kuldeep Kumar claimed that AAP councillors who defected to the BJP were misled and would return to the party, observers predict a rocky path ahead for him

In fact, BJP leaders say they are confident of voting out Kuldeep Kumar as the Congress-AAP alliance is "fragile and will further come apart under the pressures of seat-sharing for the General Election."

 

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The Tribune Web Desk brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune Wed Desk for not just breaking news stories but wide-ranging coverage of events.

#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #BJP #Congress #Supreme Court


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