Congress Delhi unit cedes ground on alliance, all eyes on Rahul

Astha Saxena
Sheila Dikshit (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

The Congress Delhi unit has decided to go with the high command's decision on forming an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the capital for the Lok Sabha polls. The decision was unanimously taken at an urgent meeting called by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief Sheila Dikshit at her residence on Tuesday morning.

The move came after NCP chief Sharad Pawar met Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh early on Tuesday to take forward the final call on coalition. The decision from the grand old party will be taken by Rahul once he is back in Delhi on Wednesday, said sources.

"Looking at the scenario, the state unit's leadership has finalised to go with what the high command will decide. Though the state unit is still against the coalition, it will not stand against the party's decision," said a senior leader.

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According to sources, two working presidents and a few senior leaders were present at the meeting, in which the campaign strategy for the polls was also discussed.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dikshit had said on Monday that she will ally with AAP if the high command asks her to. "If the high command decides to go for an alliance, we will automatically accept it," she had said.

In a letter last week, Dikshit along with DPCC working presidents Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia protested against a recent phone survey to gauge workers' mood on the alliance. The results of the survey have been passed on to Rahul.

However, 14 district committee presidents and four former DPCC presidents are in support of the alliance and their opinion has been passed on to the Congress chief.

The decision to ally with AAP has left the Congress pided. While some leaders in Delhi are opposing the move, leaders at the central level are largely in favour of it. Senior leaders said the pace of poll activities have also slowed down due to the ongoing confusion.

"Rahul ji is being updated about all the developments taking place at the state level. He is coming back on Wednesday evening; we will announce his decision soon," P C Chacko, AICC general secretary, told The Indian Express.

"We are not in support of coalition and hopefully Rahul ji will honour party workers' decision. The party suffered previously when it supported AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal a few years ago. We don't want to repeat history," said Lilothia.