The prospect of an alliance between the Congress and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party turned into a "Will they Won't they" cliff-hanger with a word from Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit today. Ms Dikshit, who gave a firm "no" to a tie-up last week, appeared to inject doubt in the party's game plan today, saying "There is no alliance yet".
A three-time Chief Minister of Delhi, who had an extremely good rapport with Sonia Gandhi, Ms Dikshit had a meeting with the UPA chairperson yesterday. Their discussions, she told reporters, had been confidential.
"There is not alliance with anyone. This is what we told Rahul Gandhi and this is also what we told Sonia Gandhi," Ms Dikshit said.
Last week, the Congress chief and other key leaders of the party met Rahul Gandhi, where they unanimously turned down a proposal for alliance with the Aam Aadmi 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," Ms Dikshit had told NDTV after the meeting. A senior Congress leader said Ms Dikshit, whose three-term government was swept out by AAP's march to power, had strongly opposed the alliance.
The rivalry between the two parties at the state level, despite their association at the national-level, is considered a huge gap in the united alliance bulwark of the united alliance. The Congress has been under pressure from key opposition allies to mend fences with AAP, and stop a split in the anti-BJP vote.
AAP announced its candidates earlier this month, underscoring that the Congress was not interested in an alliance. After Ms Dikshit's announcement last week, Arvind Kejriwal, upset, tweeted that the Congress has a "secret understanding" with the BJP.
"At a time when the whole country wants to defeat Modi-Shah duo, Cong is helping BJP by splitting anti-BJP vote. Rumours are that Congress has some secret understanding with BJP. Delhi is ready to fight against Cong-BJP alliance. People will defeat this unholy alliance," his tweet read.
Later, AAP asked Mr Gandhi to take his own decision instead of leaving it to the state Congress. Mr Kejriwal has also asked people to ensure that the anti-BJP vote does not get split in the election. In 2014, the BJP had won all seven seats in Delhi. But since, AAP has raced to power in Delhi, initially winning 28 seats in the 2013 elections and in 2015 elections, winning 67 of the 70 assembly seats.
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