Alliance with AAP off, Congress to declare candidates for Delhi today

AICC in-charge of Delhi P C Chacko said AAP agreed to enter into a Delhi-specific alliance with the Congress on Wednesday.

Alliance talks with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have failed and the Congress will declare the names of its Delhi candidates Friday, senior Congress leaders said. The Congress had proposed a 4-3 formula for an alliance in Delhi, offering four seats to the AAP. It had opted for the Chandni Chowk, North West Delhi and the New Delhi seats for itself. AAP, however, said it will not agree to an alliance unless Congress gives the AAP-JJP combine at least four seats in Haryana. AICC in-charge of Delhi P C Chacko said AAP agreed to enter into a Delhi-specific alliance with the Congress on Wednesday.

"They agreed for a Delhi-specific 4-3 seat-sharing pact Wednesday night. I met AAP's Sanjay Singh. This morning, they contacted me and said they are going for a meeting convened by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and asked me about the Congress's views on full statehood for Delhi. I conveyed to them that we are in favour of full statehood. But after the meeting, they told me that Kejriwal was not in favour of a Delhi-specific pact and that the alliance was not possible unless it covers Haryana as well," Chacko told The Indian Express.

Congress's communications chief Randeep Singh Surjewala also dismissed any pact with JJP and AAP in Haryana.

Speaking to reporters after Congress's Captain Ajay Singh Yadav filed his nomination from Gurgaon, Surjewala said: "The Congress is not tying up with the JJP… the alliance is simply wishful thinking. There is no possibility of the Congress tying up with AAP in Haryana either." According to a senior AAP leader, the party sees no reason to go for an alliance in Delhi alone.

"Our surveys have shown that the Congress's vote share is less than 12 per cent. We are in a position to win at least four seats on our own and will give a good fight in the remaining three seats. We only wanted an alliance to defeat the BJP, but allying in Delhi alone will not serve any purpose," he said.
Statements from AAP and the Congress signal the end of alliance talks, which has seen several twists and turns and hard bargaining by both sides over the last three months.

Sources in Congress, however, said that the party would wait for any fresh move by the AAP till Friday afternoon. Sources say Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Sheila Dikshit's name has been suggested for East Delhi, Ajay Maken for New Delhi, Sushil Kumar from South Delhi, Mahabal Mishra for West Delhi, Kapil Sibal for Chandni Chowk, Rajkumar Chauhan for Northwest Delhi and JP Aggarwal for Northeast Delhi.

The last date to file nominations is April 23. The city goes to polls on May 12.

Congress leaders alleged that AAP had suddenly brought up an alliance in Haryana after the tie-up in Delhi was almost finalised. The Congress, however, was not keen to extend the seat-sharing pact beyond Delhi.

Chacko said he has conveyed AAP's decision to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Later in the day, he also met DPCC president Sheila Dikshit to finalise the candidate list.