Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit today confirmed that there will be no alliance between her party and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Referring to a statement by AAP that such a tie-up was not on the cards, she told NDTV, “This is something they are just repeating. They only said what we already said.”
The former Delhi Chief Minister said she is not concerned about voters who moved away from the Congress to AAP. “If they went away from us, there must have been a reason… If they come back, there will be a reason too,” she asserted. “For us, all votes are important… We want every vote.”
Ms Dikshit had taken charge as the Delhi Congress chief earlier this week.
AAP leader Gopal Rai had stated earlier in the day that his party was willing to partner with the Congress to save the country from “dictatorship” under Narendra Modi’s BJP, but changed its mind following adverse comments from the Congress. “We were ready to drink poison (compromise with the Congress). But now, we have decided that AAP will contest on all seats across Delhi, Punjab and Haryana with its full strength, and won’t have any alliance with the Congress,” he said, identifying Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Ms Dikshit as the politicians who have been undermining AAP through their remarks.
Ms Dikshit, in her televised interaction with NDTV, also asserted that the Congress would prioritise reducing air pollution in the capital if it gets the people’s mandate in the elections to come. “The pollution is unprecedented. We have already raised this, but officials don’t believe it’s an issue that is serious enough… There are enough poor people sleeping in the open, exposing themselves to pollution,” Ms Dikshit said. “It will certainly be a priority area.”
Ms Dikshit also downplayed the presence of Jagdish Tytler — a Congress leader accused of involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots — at an event held to mark her ascent to the post of Delhi party chief. “That’s no controversy. Has he (Mr Tytler) been charged? He came to the event as just another Congress leader,” he said.