Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Posted at: Apr 19, 2019, 6:29 PM; last updated: Apr 20, 2019, 6:52 AM (IST)

AAP makes last-ditch effort to form alliance with Congress

AAP makes last-ditch effort to form alliance with Congress
Gopal Rai. PTI file photo

New Delhi, April 19

The Aam Aadmi Party has postponed the nomination of its candidates in a last ditch effort to form an alliance with the Congress, senior party leader Gopal Rai said on Friday.

The effort was being made "to save the country from the Modi-Shah duo", he said.

On Saturday, AAP's East Delhi candidate Atishi, Chandini Chowk candidate Pankaj Gupta and North West candidate Guhan Singh were to file their nominations.

"But to give a last chance to the Congress to come on the table for holding talks over the alliance, we are postponing these candidates' nominations from Saturday to Monday," Rai said.

 On Monday, these candidates would file their nominations along with South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha, North East Delhi candidate Dilip Pandey and New Delhi candidate Brijesh Goyal, he added.

On Thursday, after holding a roadshow, the party's West Delhi candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar filed his nomination papers.

Sources said AAP leader Sanjay Singh has proposed to the Congress that the party would not field its candidate from Chandigarh and give the grand old party outside support in the Union Territory, if an alliance is formed in Delhi with the 5:2 seat-sharing formula, five for the AAP and two for Congress.

 Uncertainty prevails over the tie-up in Delhi, with the AAP seeking an alliance in Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh. The Congress, however, offered to tie up only in the national capital.

 On Thursday, the AAP-JJP alliance announced that there is no possibility of a tie-up in Haryana as the JJP said that it could never join hands with the grand old party. In Haryana, the AAP has proposed an alliance in the ratio of 6:3:1 with six seats for Congress, three seats for AAP's alliance partner in the state Jannayak Janata Party and one seat for itself.

In Delhi, an alliance in the formula of 5:2 has been proposed by the AAP with five seats for the ruling party while the Congress has refused to form an alliance anywhere except in Delhi and that too in a ratio of 4:3.

Cong probables

With the nomination process set to close on Tuesday, a list of Congress probables for seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi has been sent to party president Rahul Gandhi for his approval, a senior party leader said.

The list of party probables, including Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit, was sent to Gandhi and party's organisation secretary KC Venugopal on Friday, said AICC incharge PC Chacko.

"The list is likely to be out on Saturday since Rahul Gandhi is out of Delhi for campaigning and will be back late tonight," Chacko said.

A senior Congress leader said negotiations with AAP had reached an impasse.

"They (AAP) are coming out with new formulae instead of agreeing to contest four seats and leave three for Congress in Delhi. Time is running out for nomination and campaigning, so we are focusing on announcement of our candidates," he said.

Dikshit, whose name was making the rounds as the party's probable candidate from East Delhi, has now shown interest on Chandni Chowk seat, they said.

"If Dikshit is fielded from Chandni Chowk, former Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh Lovely could be East Delhi candidate," said a top leader associated with screening of names for the Lok Sabha polls.

Former South Delhi MP Ramesh Kumar was considered on the seat. Olympic medal winner Sushil Kumar's name was also under consideration from South Delhi.

On West Delhi seat, the party was trying to field a prominent Purvanchali celebrity but the plan did not materialise. A former MP from the seat, Mahabal Mishra, is front-runner as party candidate on the seat due to his Purvanchali roots, sources claimed.

The nomination process for Lok Sabha polls in Delhi will conclude on April 23; nomination will not take place on Sunday.

The AAP has announced its candidates on seven seats while the BJP is likely to do so on Saturday.

Sources said AAP has proposed to withdraw its Chandigarh candidate in favour of Congress if it agreed to have two seats in Delhi.

The AAP insisted on including Haryana in alliance while Congress stuck to 4-3 formula of seat sharing for Delhi alone.

Later, the AAP said Congress could not be given more than two seats in Delhi if Haryana is kept out of the ambit of alliance. The Congress rejected it.

Sources in Congress said the party has finalised its seven candidates but some adjustments could be made on 2-3 seats. PTI 


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