Written byShalini Ojha ·
Ending weeks of uncertainty surrounding a potential tie-up with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, Congress on Monday released a list of candidates.
Former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was given ticket from Northeast Delhi where she will take on BJP MP Manoj Tiwari.
Ajay Maken will contest from New Delhi seat, JP Agarwal from Chandni Chowk and Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi.
For weeks now, political corridors have been busy with speculations of an unlikely alliance between AAP and Congress.
The Arvind Kejriwal led party was keen for the tie-up with members going as far as saying that they will "drink venom" to defeat BJP.
Interestingly, AAP didn't just want a seat on the table in Delhi, but wanted a few seats in Haryana as well.
AAP increased its demands when Congress showed interest. The relatively new party wanted Congress to give it Gurgaon, Karnal, and Faridabad.
They argued that these constituencies are close to Delhi and people have seen their work.
"When people are referred to hospitals in Delhi, they come to feel the difference in terms of expenses and service," explained spokesperson Sudhir Yadav.
But Congress didn't budge.
The conversations took a new turn last week when Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted that he was willing to give 4 seats to AAP and the ball was in Kejriwal's court.
"But, Mr. Kejriwal has done yet another U-turn! Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out," he tweeted.
Responding to him, Kejriwal wrote Rahul's tweet showed his intentions were misplaced.
कौन सा U-टर्न?अभी तो बातचीत चल रही थी— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 15, 2019
आपका ट्वीट दिखाता है कि गठबंधन आपकी इच्छा नहीं मात्र दिखावा है।मुझे दुःख है आप बयान बाज़ी कर रहे हैं
आज देश को मोदी-शाह के ख़तरे से बचाना अहं है।दुर्भाग्य कि आप UP और अन्य राज्यों में भी मोदी विरोधी वोट बाँट कर मोदी जी की मदद कर रहे हैं https://t.co/9jnYXJFA0S
By announcing candidates for 6 out of the 7 constituencies, Congress has put an end to all talks.
Also, by giving 81-year-old Dikshit an important seat (Northeast Delhi is Tiwari's turf), Congress has shown it is relying on old warhorses.
Notably, when alliance talks reached a rough patch, Kejriwal had called Dikshit a 'small leader' and said Rahul would take the final decision.
It won't be wrong to expect allegations-laced statements from Kejriwal in the coming days. The Chief Minister of Delhi has constantly accused Congress and BJP of working together to defeat AAP.
In the last parliamentary polls, BJP swept Delhi by winning all seven seats. Notably, star cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, who joined BJP, hasn't been allotted a seat yet.
Delhi will vote on May 12.
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