- Sheila Dikshit said Congress won't be in alliance with AAP
- AAP leaders were insisting on a partnership
- AAP announced candidates in Delhi for six of seven Lok Sabha seats
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has spoken for the first time on why his party declined an alliance for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. His explanation came days after party's Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit said the party would not contest the polls in an alliance, even as AAP leaders were insisting on a partnership.
"If you see, our alliances have been finalised in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand. In Delhi, our party unit was unanimously against the alliance. But overall alliances are on track," he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal was keen on a partnership with the Congress in Delhi for the upcoming elections. He contends that the two parties contesting each other might result in a division of anti-BJP votes.
Earlier this week, Ms Dikshit said the state Congress had "unanimously" turned down the idea of an alliance with Arvind Kejriwal's party. "It is final that there will be no alliance with AAP. Mr Gandhi has accepted the decision. The Congress will go it alone in all seven seats in Delhi and win," she told NDTV.
After official the "no" from the Congress, Mr Kejriwal said the Congress was helping the BJP by not allying with the AAP.
"At a time when the whole country wants to defeat Modi-Shah duo, Cong is helping BJP by splitting anti-BJP vote. Rumours r that Cong has some secret understanding wid BJP. Delhi is ready to fight against Cong-BJP alliance. People will defeat this unholy alliance," he had tweeted.
The AAP, meanwhile, has asked urged Mr Gandhi to take a decision himself rather than listening to the state unit.
"I feel Rahul Gandhi is either not comprehending the national situation or he is unable to make his party organisation understand it. Instead of batting from behind his state unit, Rahul should take a decision (on alliance)," party leader Gopal Rai said today.
The AAP has announced candidates in Delhi for six out of seven Lok Sabha seats for polls, which are due by May. The party will field Atishi from East Delhi, Raghav Chaddha from South Delhi, Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Dilip Pandey from North East Delhi, Gugan Singh from North West Delhi and Brajesh Goel from the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat.
With inputs from PTI