Amid the speculations of a possible alliance between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has said that she will accept whatever the Congress president Rahul Gandhi decides. “Whatever the High Command decides, we will accept it,” Dikshit, a staunch critic of AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, was quoted as saying by ANI. According to sources, sworn enemies AAP and Congress are in touch to explore possibilities of a pre-poll alliance in the national capital for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies. Although there were no official words from any of the party leaders, sources claimed behind the door talks are on between the bitter rivals.
Both, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party shared an intense rivalry at least until August this year when Arvind Kejriwal said that voting for the Grand Old Party was like voting for the BJP. The AAP had also boycotted the election of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman in August this year, saying that the Congress party had not asked for its support for the joint Opposition candidate.
However, the talks of the possible alliance between the parties got traction after the AAP attended a meeting of Opposition parties last week where the Congress was also in attendance. Also, the AAP was invited to attend the oath-taking ceremony of three Congress chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Although local Congress leadership in the national capital is not too keen to join hands with Arvind Kejriwal’s party, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is ready to go to any extent to stop the BJP from coming in power.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had decimated that the Congress and the AAP by winning all the seven constituencies - Chandani Chowk, North East Delhi, East Delhi, New Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi. The vote share of the BJP 46.40 pe cent but the combined vote share of the Congress and the AAP was 48 per cent, 1.60 per cent more than what the saffron party had got in 2014.
Now given the sharp decline in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and his government’s “failure” to deliver on its promises, if the Congress and AAP join hands, it is likely to wrest most of the seats from the BJP.