Arvind Kejriwal Wants Alliance, Let Congress Decide, Says Mamata Banerjee

Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday that his party was keen on stitching an alliance in Delhi, which sends 7 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.

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Arvind Kejriwal Wants Alliance, Let Congress Decide, Says Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday attended Arvind Kejriwal's rally (File)


New Delhi: 

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal wanted an alliance in Delhi for the Lok Sabha election, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday, adding that the ball was now in the Congress's court. The comment comes a day after a host of political leaders, including Mr Kejriwal and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, met at NCP leader Sharad Pawar's house in Delhi.

"Arvind Kejriwal wants an alliance with the Congress in Delhi," she was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

Ms Banerjee said Mr Kejriwal wanted to go with the Congress.

"What will Arvind do? He has gone through so much. He wants to go with the Congress, what I understood during last night's meeting. Let the Congress decide, but the AAP has agreed is what I heard," she added.

Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday that his party was keen on stitching an alliance in Delhi, which sends 7 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.

"We are very worried about the nation, so we are more keen (on an alliance). The Congress has almost said no to an alliance," Arvind Kejriwal said, asked by told reporters.

Mr Kejriwal's party and the Congress were recently in touch with each other for an alliance, but the talks went south. Ajay Maken, as the Congress's Delhi chief for four years, was firmly opposed to any alliance with AAP, believing that it would weaken Congress further. After Mr Maken's resignation in January, there was speculation that the Congress was inclined towards a tie-up with AAP but former chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who was appointed Delhi chief, ruled it out.

At the meeting on Wednesday, opposition leaders reportedly tried to play peacemaker between Mr Kejriwal and Mr Gandhi. Opposition leaders, sources said, urged Mr Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi to consider burying their differences for the national election. The lack of an alliance in Delhi could harm the picture of unity, the two were told.

However, the Congress leader said after the meeting that his party would compete against Ms Banerjee and Mr Kejriwal's parties in their respective states.

Mr Kejriwal has an acrimonious relationship with the Congress leadership, stemming from his 2011 mass protest against the party's government over the Lokpal demand. The Congress-AAP partnership in Delhi in 2013 also lasted only 49 days, adding to the acrimony.

With input from PTI



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