The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party seem to have finally set aside their differences and look set to forge an alliance to take on the PM Narendra Modi-led BJP for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 and in particular, the contest for the 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. Reports said the declaration of the AAP-Congress alliance is expected to be made public after Rahul Gandhi returns to New Delhi, the Congress president is in Uttarakhand on a campaign visit for two or three days. The agreement came into limelight after the meeting of the senior Congress leader PC Chacko with AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh. Both parties have not made any official comments on the scenario. Earlier, AAP had declared its candidates for the 7 Lok Sabha constituencies: Pankaj Gupta (Chandni Chowk), Dilip Pandey (North East Delhi), Atishi (East Delhi), Brajesh Goel (New Delhi), Gugan Singh (North West Delhi), Raghav Chadha (South Delhi) and Balbir Singh Jakhar from West Delhi. Elections will be held on May 12 in Delhi.
A three-point deal is expected between the two parties: 1) AAP seems to have won the Congress around to supporting its stated aim of full statehood to Delhi. 2) AAP is expected to sacrifice a yet-to-be thrashed-out number of seats in Delhi with the Congress giving up a similar amount of seats in Haryana for the sake of the alliance. 3) The two parties will contest elections individually in Punjab as the Congress alone is way stronger than the AAP to dent the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance.
With senior journalists tweeting of the confirmation arrived at by leaders of both the parties, it is now a matter of time before the Congress-AAP alliance is formalised. AAP has a sizeable presence in Delhi which has come about at the cost of the Congress, which is yet to forget the humiliation it suffered at the hands of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party in 2014. The lack of such an alliance had wiped the Congress tally from Delhi to zero. But with the target of putting up a strong opposition against the BJP, the two parties have been meeting on and off despite Kejriwal himself tweeting his frustration of not sealing a deal with the Congress. But how that would alter dynamics at the grassroots-level is something Kejriwal and his fellow party workers would need to work on given that the immediate worry for the two parties is elsewhere, which is putting up a united fight against the BJP.