Lok Sabha elections: AAP confident of win without alliance with Congress in Delhi, but eyes tie-ups at national level to trump BJP

Even though the Aam Aadmi Party appealed for a nationwide alliance of opposition parties to defeat the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the Remove Dictatorship Save Democracy Satyagrah rally organised by it in Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, party workers believe that in Delhi no such understanding is required for an AAP victory.

Pawan Bhati, who is a shopkeeper at Baljeet Nagar in Delhi and also an AAP supporter, said to Firstpost that the AAP can win the seven Lok Sabha seats on its own in the National Capital.

Opposition leaders during AAP's 'Tanashahi Hatao, Desh Bachao' rally at Jantar Mantar, in New Delh. PTI

Opposition leaders during AAP's 'Tanashahi Hatao, Desh Bachao' rally at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi. PTI

“In Delhi, we will certainly win the Lok Sabha elections without an alliance. The AAP government in Delhi has done enough welfare work to win all the seats,” he said with confidence.

Bhati attended the Remove Dictatorship Save Democracy Satyagraha rally because he thought that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is trying to weave a nationwide alliance and he wants to express his support for it.

“I am not sure if it is possible to defeat the BJP without an alliance in other states. So I am here to support a possible alliance in those states,” he said.

Like Bhati, thousands of AAP supporters gathered in Jantar Mantar on Wednesday to listen and express their support to the opposition leaders. The AAP workers greeted leaders like West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and Congress leader Anand Sharma with thundering applause.

Many AAP workers present in the rally were confident that the party will be able to defeat the BJP in Delhi even without support from the Congress. But they expressed that a grand alliance was required to defeat the BJP in other states. All the opposition leaders who attended the rally vouched to fight the NDA in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls unitedly.

Appealing for a united India against the BJP, Banerjee said, “All opposition parties should contest the elections only in those constituencies where they are the strongest. If the Congress is strong in Rajasthan then it should contest there.”

She also said that even if the Opposition parties don't unite, her Trinamool Congress Party would still win in West Bengal.

“We have no problem in West Bengal. We are used to fighting with the Congress and the CPM. We will win all the 42 Lok Sabha Seats in West Bengal even without any alliance,” she said.

Yuvraj who is a health practitioner at Rohini in Delhi and an AAP member believes that the Congress has no more political might left in the capital city and hence it does not matter whether it allies with the AAP or not in the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls.

“In Delhi, the Congress has certainly lost it to the AAP. The desired changes the AAP has brought in Delhi’s health and education sector will work in its favour in the upcoming polls,” the AAP member said.

Like Bhati, Yuvraj also doubts whether the opposition could take on the might of Modi-Shah duo in other states without an effective alliance.

"We cannot say anything for sure as of now because opposition unity is not finalised yet. But it is sure that the rally would certainly send across a message,” he said.

Shanti Jatav, a 60-year-old woman who earns her living by making envelopes does not believe that poor people in Delhi would vote for anyone other than AAP.

“The benefits we have received from the AAP government were never given by any previous government. Be it free water supply, cheap electricity or old age pension, we have got them all from AAP government,” she said.

Shanti had reached Jantar Mantar from her home in Mangolpuri by a bus provided to AAP workers by the party.

Till nearly a month back a possible AAP-Congress alliance was widely discussed in the media. Even many AAP leaders had thrown their weight in favour of an alliance.

The need for an alliance had stemmed from the equation that a good chunk of votes that ensured AAP’s historic victory in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls came from disheartened Congress voters. It was feared that this group of voters may return to the Congress fold this time, as the grand old party has shown signs of recovery.

But in an unexpected turn of events in the last month, Kejriwal declared that no alliance was possible with the Congress.

The Delhi chief minister also came up with a new equation to show the voters assuring them that an AAP victory in Delhi is possible even without an alliance.

“In 2014, BJP got 46 percent votes, AAP 33 percent and Congress 15 percent of the vote share. With a 10 percentage point shift likely away from BJP this time, AAP is best suited to defeat it," Kejriwal had said.

But in sharp contrast to his earlier stance, the AAP convenor not only hosted the Remove Dictatorship Save Democracy Satyagraha rally favouring an alliance but also attended a meeting with all the opposition parties at Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar’s residence in which Congress president Rahul Gandhi was also present.

There is no denying the fact that an alliance with the Congress in Delhi would require the wholehearted support from its cadre to win. It is yet to be seen whether the AAP workers support and cooperate with an alliance which many of them believe is not required.

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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 12:57:11 IST

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