As the process for filing of nominations for the seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi began Tuesday, alliance talks between the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party continued to stutter. The grand old party said that it has shown a "big heart" by agreeing to form an alliance with AAP and that the ball is now in the court of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.
While the Congress is unwilling to look beyond Delhi for the alliance, the AAP is keen that the two parties come together for Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh. Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that party leader Sanjay Singh would be in touch with the Congress to take forward the talks.
A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal indulged in a twitter spat over the issue, the Congress party said it has already offered AAP four seats in the national capital and now the AAP has to take a decision.
"Party president Rahul Gandhi has made it pretty clear that an alliance can be formed just in Delhi in a ratio of 4:3," Congress Delhi in-charge PC Chacko told reporters, in response to a question on alliance.
"People have expressed their doubts to us over AAP but despite that we have shown a big heart and for a common objective we have agreed to form an alliance in Delhi. Senior party leader Randeep Surjewala has made it clear on the party's stand on alliance in other states," he said.
He accused Kejriwal of playing "hide and seek" and said Gandhi has made the party's stand clear.
Surjewala had last week said that if an alliance has to be made it can only be made in the national capital and not in other states.
On Monday, Rahul Gandhi accused the AAP of making a 'U-turn' over alliance talks prompting the Delhi chief minister to hit back.
The Congress chief had said while the doors of his party are open, time is running out, but Kejriwal slammed him, questioning what U-turn was he talking about as the talks were still on.
The Congress has offered the AAP 4:3 seat-sharing formula - four Lok Sabha seats for the ruling party and three seats for itself while the AAP has proposed 5:2 ration keeping five seats for itself and two for the grand old party.
The arrangement has been arrived at on basis of the vote share of both parties in 2017 civic polls here.
PC Chacko, Congress Delhi In-charge: AAP is suggesting alliance on 18 seats beyond Delhi. Let us come together in Delhi first. Rahul ji said our doors are open, it should be done.... Whatever decision is reached in one state cannot be replicated in the same way in other states. pic.twitter.com/oXVSR9URsu— ANI (@ANI) April 15, 2019
The Congress has accused the Kejriwal-led outfit of backing out from its commitment, as it is demanding seats in Goa, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh, besides Delhi for a pre-poll understanding with the Congress.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said in response to Gandhi's tweet, "The Congress is not giving even a single seat to the AAP in Punjab where it has four MPs and 20 MLAs and in Haryana."
"In Delhi where the Congress has zero MPs and MLAs, it is demanding three seats. Is this how agreement happens? Why do not you want to stop the BJP in other states," he asked.
Ahmed Patel, Cong: We wish to set the record straight, despite opposition from our state unit, Congress President convinced them to work out a formula to collaborate with AAP in Delhi. But AAP insisted for seats in Haryana. Our proposition still stands,the ball is in their court. pic.twitter.com/9t0SVvRVCH— ANI (@ANI) April 15, 2019
The AAP has already announced its candidates on the seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi, while the Congress has finalised names of its candidates which could be announced soon.
At stake, in this elections, is the fate of our Country, Constitution and Composite Culture. Congress & AAP leadership need to show their seriousness about it.
Unite to defend the Constitution! https://t.co/wLZB5eIFBq— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) April 15, 2019
Meanwhile, the AAP accused the Congress of helping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that the alliance talks were stuck as Congress was willing to let BJP win on several seats.
"Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh together have 18 seats. The Congress is saying that let them win on three seats; AAP will win four seats and let BJP win on 11 seats. We do not want to give BJP a single seat. The matter is stuck here," AAP Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai tweeted.
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à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤¿à¤° à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤¾à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤°à¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤¸ à¤à¤¾à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ªà¤¾ à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¥ÂÂÂÂÂ 11 à¤¸à¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂÂÂ à¤ªà¤° à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤¯à¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂÂÂ à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤¿à¤¤à¤¾à¤¨à¤¾ à¤ÂÂÂÂÂà¤¾à¤¹à¤¤à¥ÂÂÂÂÂ à¤¹à¥ÂÂÂÂÂà¤ÂÂÂÂÂ?— Gopal Rai (@AapKaGopalRai) April 16, 2019
"Why does Congress want to let BJP win on 11 seats?" he asked.
Meanwhile, AAP has again expressed interest in taking forward the discussions on seat-sharing in the three states.
AAP leader and Delhi's deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, "AAP has authorized Sanjay Singh to talk to the Congress. Rahul Ji should also authorise a Congressman who could sit with the AAP to form a strategy to defeat the BJP on all 18 (Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh) seats."
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The last date of filing of nominations is April 23, with April 17 and 19 being closed owing to Good Friday and Sunday.
The date of scrutiny of nominations is April 24, while the date for withdrawing of nominations is April 26.
(With agency inputs)