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Last Updated : Mar 20, 2019 11:12 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Arvind Kejriwal says AAP, Congress not in talks; but party MP offers 5-2 formula

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh insisted that Punjab and Haryana will also have to be part of any deal with the Congress

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Contradictory signals have emerged from Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) regarding its alliance with the Indian National Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

AAP National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 19 said the Congress had refused to forge an alliance with his party and that the two sides were not in talks with each other.

Talking to mediapersons, he claimed that reports stating that talks between the AAP and the Congress had been finalised were planted by the Grand Old Party.

However, according to a report in The Indian Express, AAP Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Singh said a '5-2 seat sharing deal' had been offered to the Congress. This was done via Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who has been mediating between the two sides.

Singh told the newspaper that if Congress is serious about defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), “it should agree for alliances in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana,” insisting that Punjab and Haryana will also have to be part of the deal.

Former Chief Minister and Congress’ Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit had said that she was against the alliance but “if the high command decides to go for an alliance, we will automatically accept it.”

There has been a prolonged back and forth between the AAP and the Congress over an alliance.

While the Kejriwal-led party was keen on an alliance, Congress’ local leadership in Delhi expressed that they did not want it.

Back then, a 3-3-1 seat-sharing formula was reportedly proposed in which AAP and Congress would contest three out of Delhi’s seven seats each. An independent candidate supported by both sides would be in the seventh seat. However, talks broke down subsequently.

Having waited for a response from the Congress, AAP has already announced candidates for all seven seats: Atishi (East Delhi), Guggan Singh (Northwest Delhi), Balbir Singh Jakhar (West Delhi), Raghav Chadha (South), Dilip Pandey (Northeast), Pankaj Gupta (Chandni Chowk) and Brijesh Goyal (New Delhi).

In 2014, the BJP had swept all seven seats in Delhi.

Delhi will head for voting in a single phase on May 12.
First Published on Mar 20, 2019 11:12 am
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