It's PC Chacko vs Sheila Dikshit as Congress Struggles to Reach Consensus on Alliance With AAP
Many Congress leaders believe that it is necessary to have an alliance to take on the BJP as the saffron party is upbeat after air strikes by the Modi government following the Pulwama terror attack.
Congress leaders PC Chacko and Sheila Dikshit.
New Delhi: The tug-of-war within the Congress over joining hands with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi for the upcoming elections intensified on Tuesday, with Congress Delhi incharge PC Chacko saying most of the leaders were of the opinion that an alliance would help defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“As far as I know, there are senior leaders in Delhi who think that defeating BJP is party’s immediate responsibility. For that we should form an alliance with AAP, that’s the thinking of majority of leaders,” Chacko was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
He added, “Our president Rahul Gandhi will take a decision in few days. The policy of our party as decided by the working committee is to go for alliance with parties that are opposed to the BJP. I hope Delhi leaders will also follow this policy decision of the Congress.”
The senior Congress leader’s statement comes after the party’s Delhi chief Sheila Dikshit and her three working presidents wrote to Gandhi against the alliance. In a letter written last week, Dikshit and working presidents Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia protested a recent phone survey to gauge workers' mood on the alliance. "Dikshit and the working presidents have urged the Congress chief not to have an alliance with the AAP, saying it will harm the party in the long run,” said a Delhi Congress leader.
The leader said they have also expressed reservation over the phone survey, being carried out through Shakti app of the party, which was undertaken by Chacko. The survey sought views of around 52,000 Delhi Congress workers on whether they supported the party's alliance with the AAP in Delhi or not.
Chacko had said earlier that a report of the survey would be submitted to Gandhi who would take a final call on the issue. Dikshit had opposed the survey, saying it was "overriding" Gandhi's decision that the Delhi Congress was against the alliance. Earlier this month, Dikshit, after meeting Gandhi, had claimed that there was unanimity in the party against an alliance with the AAP.
However, opinion seems to be divided in the Congress over the issue. Many believe that it is necessary to have an alliance to take on the BJP as the saffron party is upbeat after air strikes by the Modi government following the Pulwama terror attack.
"We do not think it will be an easy task for us to fight against the resurgent BJP and the ruling AAP in Delhi in the Lok Sabha polls. Also, things will be tougher for us as both the Congress and the AAP have the same voter base which will be split if there is no alliance," a senior Delhi Congress leader said.
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