NEW DELHI (IANS) — In a blow to the opposition’s bid to forge a grand alliance, the Congress on Tuesday ruled out aligning with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Lok Sabha elections. The move prompted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to allege a “secret Congress-BJP understanding”.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Congress unit led by its chief Sheila Dikshit and Congress President Rahul Gandhi at his residence here.
“Congress has unanimously taken a decision that there will be no alliance with AAP. The decision was taken in Rahul Gandhi’s presence and it is final,” Dikshit said after the meeting.
While the Delhi unit was firm on not tying up with the AAP from the beginning, the central leadership had been exploring the possibility of an understanding harping on the need for all opposition parties to put up a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The AAP on March 2 declared candidates for six of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, claiming that the Congress has already said “no” to the alliance.
AAP chief Kejriwal took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his anguish over the Congress’ move.
“At a time when the whole country wants to defeat Modi-Shah duo, Congress is helping BJP by splitting anti-BJP vote,” said Kejriwal.
“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,” he added.
Even during the February 13 opposition parties’ meet in which they had resolved to have a pre-poll pact to defeat the BJP, the Congress had appeared to keep its options open about tying up with the AAP.
A day later Kejriwal claimed that the Congress had “almost” said no for an alliance with the AAP.
The BJP had swept Delhi in 2014 winning all the seven seats.