On teaming-up with AAP, Sheila Dikshit says nothing's final yet
Former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, on Tuesday didn't rule out Congress' alliance with AAP but said nothing is confirmed yet. Dikshit's statement is in sharp contradiction to Ajay Maken's who reiterated multiple times the party will not join hands with AAP. The three-time CM took reins of Delhi Congress after Maken had to leave the post due to health issues.
Dikshit, who left Delhi politics after Congress was served a humiliating defeat in 2015, returned to handle the party last week. Speaking about BJP and AAP, she said, "BJP and AAP both are a challenge; we will meet the challenges together. There is nothing on an alliance with AAP yet." She also hinted the decision on allies will be taken by the party's leadership.
It should be recalled that in 2014, Arvind Kejriwal, the current Chief Minister of Delhi, ran a stinging campaign against Dikshit, accusing her of corruption. He regularly targeted her over a number of issues like women's safety and functioning of Delhi police. However, Kejriwal put bitterness in politics aside and went to check on Dikshit when she fell ill.
It should be noted that the faces in both Congress and AAP, who opposed the alliance, have left their respective roles. HS Phoolka, the lawyer who fought for victims of 1984 Anti-Sikh riots, left AAP earlier this year. In Congress, Maken went on an overdrive asking senior Congress leaders to not form an alliance with AAP and he too resigned from the top post.
A few weeks ago, a huge controversy erupted after AAP-dominated Delhi Assembly passed a resolution suggesting former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi should be stripped off Bharat Ratna over his alleged role in the Anti-Sikh riots. There was a demand for resignation of MLA Alka Lamba. Referring to this incident, Dikshit said everyone was upset with how they (AAP) spoke about Rajiv Gandhi.
The principal opposition party, Congress, is reaching out to regional parties to form the grand alliance, popularly known as mahagathbandan, to defeat the ruling BJP. Last month, Kejriwal met Chandrababu Naidu, who is instrumental in bringing parties together, starting rumors that AAP could join the team. Later, Kejriwal said he just believed the duo of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi have to be stopped.