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Kejriwal Ends Suspense on Tie-up With Congress, Says Rahul Gandhi Refused to Join Hands in Delhi

Senior party leaders had earlier said though a 'consensus has been reached' between the top leadership of both the parties, the two camps have so far been unable to finalise a seat-sharing arrangement.

News18.com

Updated:April 1, 2019, 10:24 AM IST
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Kejriwal Ends Suspense on Tie-up With Congress, Says Rahul Gandhi Refused to Join Hands in Delhi
File Photo of Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has refused to forge an alliance with his party for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, putting an end to days of speculation over the proposed tie-up.

Talking to reporters at the airport here, the AAP leader said he had met Gandhi recently and the Congress leader had refused to join hands with the AAP. Asked about Congress' Delhi unit president Sheila Dikshit's remarks that Kejriwal never approached her for an alliance, the chief minister said, "We have met Rahul Gandhi. Dikshit is not that important a leader."

Dikshit had said on Sunday that a decision on an alliance with the AAP would be announced soon.

Senior party leaders had said though a "consensus has been reached" between the top leadership of both the parties, the two camps have so far been unable to finalise a seat-sharing arrangement.

Sources said the AAP had two weeks ago made a fresh bid to forge an alliance with the Congress in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, while demanding five seats in the national capital. However, shortly after a meeting with Congress's top brass, Kejriwal said that the Congress had refused to form an alliance with the AAP in Delhi and the two parties were not in talks with each other.

Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar had stepped in to help Congress and AAP to stitch an alliance. However, his efforts turned futile. It was the second effort by Pawar. In mid-February, he had hosted a dinner for top opposition leaders at his house that brought Gandhi and Kejriwal to the same room.

Kejriwal had earlier said internal surveys have indicated that the party is capable of winning all seven seats in Delhi on its own and does not require an alliance with the Congress in the national capital.

The Congress has neither made a formal announcement about the alliance nor officially communicated its plans to the AAP.

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