Arvind Kejriwal’s love-hate relationship with the Congress party is flourishing again, according to media reports, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the grand old party are in talks to explore the possibility of a pre-poll alliance for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies of New Delhi. According to PTI, backchannel talks were said to be going on between AAP and the Congress, even though the two parties have not come up with any official statement for the same.
Reportedly, talks between the Arvind Kejriwal led party and the Congress gained momentum after members of the AAP participated for the first time in the opposition meeting held last week. The Congress also participated in the meeting. Sources told PTI that a senior Congress leader and member of the AAP’s apex decision- making body were leading the talks.
It’s quite funny to see that a party which came to power by leading an anti-corruption campaign against the Congress is now making all the efforts to enter into an alliance with the same party. However, in the past as well AAP had joined hands with the Congress to wrest political power in Delhi. AAP leader maintained the “neither with Congress nor with BJP” attitude but their tilt towards Congress was visible since it came to power in Delhi for the first time. Arvind Kejriwal, riding on his new found publicity, jumped in the fray for the Delhi assembly elections of 2013. The election was fought by Arvind Kejriwal against the Congress government in Delhi led by Sheila Dikshit. When BJP refused to form the government in Delhi following a hung assembly, it was Kejriwal who despite swearing on the lives of his children against it, joined forces with the Congress to form a government in Delhi.
However, from the past few months, Congress treated AAP like a political pariah. At the time of crucial Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman elections, the grand old party didn’t reach out to AAP for its support. Disheartened by this, AAP abstained from voting in the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman election. AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh went to the extent of complaining. He said, “If Rahul Gandhi can hug Narendra Modi, why cannot he ask Arvind Kejriwal for support to his party’s candidate.” Sanjay Singh also tweeted, “It is not possible to support the candidate of JD(U), which is in alliance with BJP at the centre.” The AAP leader further added that since Congress doesn’t want a vote for its party, there is no other option left with AAP than to abstain from voting.
Earlier also, there were reports indicating that AAP wanted to align with Congress ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. As per a report, Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, addressing party workers in Khanna (Ludhiana), said that the party might decide to join hands with the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He also added that while the Congress had failed in Punjab, it might be necessary to join hands with Congress and other parties to stop Narendra Modi and the BJP from winning in 2019. This statement made by a prominent member of the party reveals the true colors of AAP.
There were also reports indicating that AAP wants to enter into an alliance with the Congress in Delhi. According to reports, the AAP approached the Congress with an offer to form a grand pre-poll alliance against the BJP in Delhi. The AAP offered three of the seven Lok Sabha seats to the Congress party for the upcoming 2019 General elections. But then the offer had not gone down well with the Delhi Congress, whose chief Ajay Maken declined it and said, “When the people of Delhi are continuously rejecting the Kejriwal government, why should we come to their rescue”.
But you are the one-along with team Anna and backed by BJP, had spread lies and canard against the Congress leaders & brought Modi to power
Where is Lokpal pic.twitter.com/iTH0U81IrZ
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) May 31, 2018
On “so called” offer of AAP to Congress for 3 seats,look at my reply to Kejriwal!
When the people of Delhi are continuously rejecting Kejriwal Govt, why should we come to their rescue?
After all, Kejriwal with team Anna supported by RSS, helped in creating this monster of Modi! pic.twitter.com/D8IwcqF0t9
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) June 1, 2018
Now it seems both the parties are willing to come together again. The bone of contention between the AAP and the Congress for the pre-poll alliance before the general elections is the allocation of a number of seats to be contested between the two parties. According to PTI sources, AAP was not willing to offer more than two seats to the grand old party. Delhi sends a total of seven members to the parliament.
AAP has already declared its constituency in-charges in six constituencies, who would potentially be declared as the party candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. An alliance would be mean that AAP would have to withdraw at least two names as they have already started campaigning.
Significantly, the local Congress leadership of Delhi was not in the favor of an alliance with the AAP, but the central leadership of the party was open to the idea of an alliance with the AAP. It’s important to note that the Congress Central leadership has a history of going against the wishes of its local leadership. They forced Karnataka Congress state unit to enter into a post-poll alliance with the JD (S), and they would not shy to repeat the same thing again in other states as well.