Addressing a jam-packed press conference in the national capital on Saturday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the possibility of an alliance between Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress is closed now. He said that the developments over the last few weeks clearly exposes the claim of the Congress in ousting Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] from power in upcoming elections. He said, "The overtures of the Congress parties clearly indicate its seriousness in keeping away BJP from power. With alliance talks, our intention was quite clear that we want to save the country from the forces that wish to divide the country on communal lines, but the Congress appears to be more interested in arithmetic."
He said, "There is no hope left for a coalition with the Congress. We have also closed all the negotiations now. There is no question of seat-sharing with Congress in Delhi."
Delhi has seven Lok Sabha Seats which were won by BJP. However, the saffron party faced a humiliating defeat a year later, in 2015, when AAP swept Assembly elections by clinching 67 out of 70 seats. The electoral scenario in Haryana is bit different. Out of 10 seats, BJP won 7 seats followed by Indian National Lok Dal [INLD] winning two seats and Congress retaining the sole seat of Rohtak – won by Deepender Hooda, son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. AAP recently stitched an alliance with Jananayak Janta Party with a seat sharing formula of 7-3 [JJP-AAP].
He added that they first sought an alliance in Punjab, Haryana, Goa and Chandigarh to build a broader alliance to keep the BJP out of power. “Congress officials told us that Punjab unit does not want an alliance despite the fact that we have four MPs and 20 MLAs in the state. We agreed to it. We said that let us have an alliance in Haryana, but it is opposed to even that. With these developments in the background, we want to say that a Delhi-specific alliance is not possible. If we go for Delhi-specific alliance, it would mean offering three seats to BJP,” he added.
Also read: Elections 2019: New Alliances May Pose Threat to Mainstream Parties in Haryana
Emphasising his point, he said that the potential of a broader alliance among Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Jannayak Janata Party to defeat BJP was first seen in Jind bypoll where BJP had bagged 50,500 votes, followed by Jannayak Janata Party getting 37,600 votes, and Congress finishing distant third with 22,000 votes.
Senior leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said that the present regime has launched an assault on the Constitution, democracy and the federal structure. “We also saw demonetisation, GST and other economic blunders in the last five years. Even an honourable person like Hemant Karkare are targeted by these forces who have chosen a terror-accused as their candidate. What else is required to show Congress that we must unite to fight?” said Singh.
Experts maintain that AAP’s insistence on an alliance in Haryana is rooted in its plan to increase its footprint in Haryana Assembly elections scheduled to take place by the end of this year. Its morale was further boosted when its membership drive got huge response from the urban areas like Faridabad, Gurgaon and Karnal.
However, they also maintain that AAP lacks caste-based support from any community. Dr. Kushal Pal, associate professor of Political Sciences at Dyal Singh College, Karnal said, "AAP will gain immensely if it has an alliance with Jannayak Janata Party and Congress. Historically, caste has played an important role in politics of Haryana. Since it has no significant support from any community, they want to cash the consolidation of Jat votes. This is why they are insisting on alliance with JJP and Congress."
Also read: Elections 2019: AAP-JJP Alliance in Haryana Set to Take on BJP