The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday declared candidates for six of the seven seats for Lok Sabha elections 2019 in Delhi, putting an end to the speculations of a possible pre-poll alliance with the Congress. The AAP has fielded its top leaders like Atishi from East Delhi, Raghav Chaddha from South Delhi, Dilip Pandey from North East Delhi, Gugan Singh from North West Delhi, Brajesh Goel from New Delhi and Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat.
"We won 66 out of 70 seats in Assembly elections. We will try to make a similar presence felt during the Lok Sabha elections," the Delhi Employment Minister said. However, the candidate for the seventh Lok Sabha seat - West Delhi - will be declared later as the party was still discussing potential names, Rai said during the press conference.
Announcement : Declaration of candidates for the upcoming Loksabha Polls— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 2, 2019
1. New Delhi - @brijeshgoyalaap
2. East Delhi - @AtishiAAP
3. North East Delhi - @dilipkpandey
4. South Delhi - @raghav_chadha
5. Chandani Chowk - @pankajgupta
6. North West Delhi - @AAPGuganSingh pic.twitter.com/EuNyseK1Fi
Speaking about why the party didn't go for a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, Rai said that AAP wanted to tie up with the Congress to take on the BJP but its chief Rahul Gandhi said that it was not possible.
"Sheila Dikshit has said a straight no to the alliance. Rahul Gandhi also said not possible... Aam Aadmi Party wanted the alliance, but the Congress is not ready" AAP Delhi Convenor Gopal Rai said during a press conference at party's ITO office.
Earlier in the day, there were reports that the AAP and the Congress have reportedly initiated a fresh round of talks for the alliance for upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Delhi on Friday. According to the reports, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had appointed a senior Congress leader to negotiate the seat-sharing pact with the AAP.
However, Delhi Congress leaders, including its chief Sheila Dikshit, had expressed strong reservations against any alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, saying that the party workers were not in favour of it.
"Top leaders of Congress held discussion over the issue of a tie-up with AAP in Delhi but most of the leaders are not in favour of an alliance with AAP. We will convey our decision to party high command," Dikshit had said on Friday.