Congress president Rahul Gandhi got involved in a blame game on Monday with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal over the formation of an alliance between the two parties to take on the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Accusing Kejriwal of taking a “U-turn”, the 48-year-old Gandhi tweeted that the Congress is still willing to give 4 seats of the 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi to the AAP.
“An alliance between the Congress & AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP. The Congress is willing to give up 4 Delhi seats to the AAP to ensure this,” he said in the tweet.
“But, Mr Kejriwal has done yet another U turn! Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out,” tweeted Gandhi adding the hashtag “#AbAAPkiBaari” indicating that he was putting the ball in the AAP’s court.
An alliance between the Congress & AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP. The Congress is willing to give up 4 Delhi seats to the AAP to ensure this.
But, Mr Kejriwal has done yet another U turn!
Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out. #AbAAPkiBaari
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 15, 2019
Responding to his tweet, Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, shot back accusing Gandhi of not showing an intention of forming an alliance and dividing the anti-Modi votes in UP and other states.
“What U-turn? The talks were on. Your tweet shows that you are not interested in the gathbandhan (alliance). I am disappointed that you are issuing statements in this manner. Today saving the nation from Modi-Shah is of prime importance. The tragedy is that you are creating a divide in the anti-Modi votes in UP and other states thereby helping Modi-ji,” tweeted Kejriwal.
कौन सा U-टर्न?अभी तो बातचीत चल रही थी
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
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 15, 2019
Kejriwal was backed by AAP leaders such as Sanjay Singh and Gopal Rai who questioned Gandhi on why the Congress was not agreeing to a pact with the AAP in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
On the other hand, PC Chacko, Congress leader in charge of Delhi, tweeted: “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.”
The Twitter exchange came amid reports that the two parties are likely to hold talks for a tie-up on Wednesday.
The AAP has been trying to form an alliance with the Congress since before the start of the Lok Sabha elections. The AAP is reportedly trying to push for 5 seats for itself in Delhi and 2 to Congress. It is also seeking an alliance in Haryana and Chandigarh but Congress is asserting that the pact should be for Delhi alone.
On 14 April, Kejriwal again stated that he is open to weave an alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections to ensure the BJP’s defeat.
Speaking to reporters after addressing a press conference called by opposition parties to demand a return to ballot papers, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief said, “The country is in danger. To save the country from Modi Ji and Amit Shah Ji’s ‘jodi’. We are ready to do whatever is needed. Our efforts will continue till the end.”
But Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the Congress leaders who were also at the press conference, remained non-committal.
Dodging the question, Sibal said that only Kejriwal “knows better” about the alliance. Singhvi added, “You know the stand of Congress. The alliance was almost done in Delhi but linking it with other states is not right.”
The Wednesday meeting between AAP and Congress would reportedly involve senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, AAP leader Sanjay Singh, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the role of a “mediator”.
While the Congress is yet to name any candidate in the national capital, AAP has already announced its candidates for all seven seats.
The BJP currently holds all 7 seats in Delhi, where elections are scheduled in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha polls on 12 May.