The rift inside the Delhi Congress came out in public through the threat of former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken who expressed his unwillingness to contest the Lok Sabha elections in absence of an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi.
It is said that the rift between Ajay Maken and Sheila Dikshit has become fiercer over alliance AAP and Congress High Command is still in doubt whether to stitch an alliance or not. While a group under the leadership of Maken publicly raise voice for a tie-up those led by Sheila Dikshit feel they need to stay anti-AAP ahead of the 2020 Delhi assembly elections.
Maken’s latest response was to the AICC’s request for names from all seven seats if there is no alliance with AAP in Delhi. Ajay Maken had earlier cleared that he will support an alliance with the AAP in Delhi even if he was not fielded as a candidate from the New Delhi constituency.
For the last many weeks, the Congress and AAP have been working on the possibility of an alliance in the Lok Sabha polls but are yet to announce the final decision. So far, AAP leaders have accused the Congress of indecisiveness. While AAP feels a tie-up would consolidate anti-BJP votes in Delhi, Congress faction opposing the alliance says an alliance would mean sharing the burden of anti-incumbency.
Seat sharing has been a bone of contention for both AAP and Congress. As per the fresh formula, Congress wants three seats in Delhi, but is ready to offer one to AAP in Haryana and none in Punjab. Earlier, Congress was not willing to extend any alliance beyond Delhi.
AAP has been demanding five seats in Delhi. It later became ready to offer three seats to Congress if their alliance stretched to Punjab and Haryana where Kejriwal wanted two seats in each state.