Lok Sabha polls: Aam Aadmi Party denies tie-up with Congress; will contest all seats in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana

Ending months of speculation, the AAP on Friday ruled out the possibility of an alliance with Congress for Lok Sabha polls, and added it will field candidates on all parliamentary constituencies in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.

Senior AAP leader and party's Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai said the decision came in the wake of the recent statements of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit, opposing an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party. "In the interest of the country, we were ready to drink the poison of Congress, but the statements show that the Congress is still seeped in its arrogance. The AAP will contest all Lok Sabha seats in the three states on its own," Rai said at a press conference. Dikshit refused to comment on the development. "I do not have to react on what he said. It's his opinion," she said.

Lok Sabha polls: Aam Aadmi Party denies tie-up with Congress; will contest all seats in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana

File photo of Gopal Rai. Getty images.

Rai said AAP in collaboration with "like-minded" parties in the country, will defeat the BJP in Delhi and get a new government installed at the Centre. He said the "vision" of an alliance with Congress came into being on suggestions of leaders like Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Chandrababu Naidu and Farooq Abdullah. "Like-minded leaders like Farooq Abdullah, MK Stalin, Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata Banerjee among others stressed that despite disagreements with Congress, we (AAP) should fight the elections together in the interest of the country," he said.

The AAP, despite objections of its Delhi and Punjab units, was ready to go with Congress to end the "dictatorship of Modi-Shah combine" and to save the Constitution, he said. "The way Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh issued a statement that AAP has no takers in Punjab and Sheila Dikshit said that Congress is a national party and it can not ally with a small party like AAP, made it clear that Congress kept its arrogance above the interest of the country." Delhi Congress working president Devender Yadav said AAP's decision proved that only it was vying for an alliance for the coming polls. "They were running after us for an alliance and now rejecting it. It shows that they had interest in it and when we declined, they backed out," Yadav said. He said that Delhi Congress is of firm view that it will contest Lok Sabha polls alone.

The AAP, which is the main opposition party in Punjab, will launch its campaign for Lok Sabha polls in the state with a rally in Barnala on 20 January which will be attended by party chief Arvind Kejriwal. The candidates on the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be announced soon, Rai added.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP took a dig at AAP describing the party as "sour grapes" after hopes of an alliance with the Congress had been struck down. The Aam Aadmi Party's announcement that it will contest all the Lok Sabha seats alone in Punjab, Delhi and Haryana shows that it was "not accepted" in the political world, said Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari. "The AAP saying it will have no alliance with the Congress and contest alone amounts to it being sour grapes," Tiwari said.

The party was "scared" of defeat in the Lok Sabha elections and was trying to forge an alliance but that was not possible because of the newly appointed president of Delhi Congress Sheila Dikshit, he said. "The Lok Sabha elections will be contested on the issues of leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the development works under his policy 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'," he asserted.

The leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta claimed that there was "panic" among the opposition parties due to the fast implementation of public welfare schemes under the leadership of Modi and they are trying to forge alliances for survival.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 18, 2019 23:32:42 IST

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