The Congress on Sunday set aside speculations about a Congress-AAP alliance outside the national Capital and said candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Punjab and Haryana would be announced soon.
Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party is yet to reach a decision on stitching an alliance with the AAP in Delhi but asserted that there will be no truck between the rivals in neighbouring States. “There’s no talk on alliance with any party, including the AAP, either in Haryana or in Punjab. We are soon going to declare our candidates (for the two States). The party is yet to reach a decision on forging an alliance with the AAP in Delhi,” Surjewala said at AICC Press conference.
Congress sources said when the idea of Cong-AAP alliance was mooted, the AAP wanted to discuss 18 seats — Delhi (seven Lok Sabha), Haryana (10 Lok Sabha) and Chandigarh (one Lok Sabha). In another pre-condition for firming up an alliance, the AAP had asked the Congress to openly declare its support to full Statehood for Delhi, to which the Congress is understood to have agreed over it.
Congress sources said if AAP would be adamant on Haryana, then the grand old party might announce its seven candidates for Delhi without wasting any further time. The names of the proposed candidates have already been approved by the Screening committee.
The AAP has already announced candidates for all the seven Lok Sabha seats almost a month ago.
In the event of alliance, Congress has asserted its candidates for New Delhi, Chandni Chowk and Northwest Delhi Parliamentary constituencies. Even in this format, AAP is pressing for the Northwest Delhi Lok Sabha seat while the leaders of Congress believes it to be their traditional voters constituency which is very important to revive the fortunes of Congress in national Capital. “Both the parties have discussed their internal surveys of all the constituencies in Delhi as well as Haryana and both have wanted to score a battle over each other,” sources said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday discussed the issue again with his party leaders from the city. Delhi Congress president and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, All India Congress Committee general secretary and in-charge of the party’s national capital unit P C Chacko and some other senior leaders were present at the meeting held in Rahul’s residence.