Rahul Gandhi Hints at Withdrawing Candidates in Delhi If AAP Drops Condition of Haryana Alliance

Gandhi said it was Arvind Kejriwal himself who had proposed the 4:3 formula for an alliance in Delhi but later put forth the condition of extending the alliance to Haryana.

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said his party was ready for an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi “till the last second” provided Arvind Kejriwal dropped the condition of extending the tie-up between the two parties to Haryana.

When asked if there was a possibility of an alliance till the deadline for withdrawal of nominations, Gandhi — in an interview to Navbharat Times — said: "We are ready for a tie-up till the last second. The moment Kejriwal drops the condition of including Haryana, it will happen."

Gandhi said it was Kejriwal himself who had proposed the 4:3 formula (four for AAP and three for Congress) for an alliance in Delhi. "Earlier, our party leaders in Delhi did not agree to this formula. But when we convinced the Delhi leaders, Kejriwal added the condition of extending the alliance to Haryana," he said.

Kejriwal has accused Gandhi of not wanting an alliance and added that he was working towards dividing the anti-BJP votes. The Delhi CM recalled that Gandhi had tweeted a few days ago that Congress was ready to give four seats to AAP in Delhi. “My question is - where in the world has an alliance fructified on Twitter or through statements in the media? If he wanted an alliance, he should have held talks. Congress is just pretending that it wants an alliance,” he said.

The AAP chief claimed that even top Congress leaders admitted that BJP would win all 10 seats in Haryana. In the event of an alliance, the BJP would have lost at least eight seats in Haryana apart from the Chandigarh constituency, he said.

Kejriwal claimed that the Congress was not in a position to win in the three seats in Delhi that it was demanding. "So, they wanted to take three seats from us and gift them to BJP," he Kejriwal said. "We had two options: one, to go for the alliance with the 4:3 formula, which would have resulted in the three seats allotted to Congress going to BJP. Two, contest all the seven seats, which we hope to win. We went for the second option."

The Delhi CM said AAP had conducted a survey which indicated that Congress’s vote share had gone below five per cent. “Hindus are not voting for Congress and there's some confusion among the Muslims. But by the polling date, even they would realise that Congress vote share is less than five per cent,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked about the possibility of his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking on PM Modi in Varanasi, Gandhi revealed that the party had taken a decision on this. “But, we want to maintain suspense for now on the decision we have taken,” he said.

Gandhi reiterated that his party was ready for an alliance in UP and added that Priyanka Gandhi had been told to ensure that the prospects of SP-BSP candidates should not be damaged on seats where Congress was weak.

When asked about his 'chowkidar chor hai' slogan against Modi, he said: "This slogan is finding resonance among people because this is the truth."