Arvind Kejriwal’s party offers Congress 1 of 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has offered the Congress party just one of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, escalating tensions in their seat-sharing negotiations for the upcoming general elections.

The AAP, which is currently in power in Delhi, has been negotiating with INDIA opposition bloc partner Congress to finalise a seat-sharing formula ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

However, in a swipe at the grand old party, AAP MP Sandeep Pathak said, “On merit basis, Congress party does not deserve even a single seat in Delhi but keeping in mind the ‘dharma of alliance’ we are offering them one seat in Delhi. We propose Congress party to fight on one seat and AAP on six seats.”

The AAP’s strong performance in previous Delhi elections, where it won a majority of the assembly seats, has emboldened its stance in the negotiations. In contrast, the Congress has been trying to regain its foothold in the capital after facing a series of electoral setbacks.

“In Delhi, Congress party has zero seats in the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly elections. In the MCD elections, Congress has won 9 seats out of 250,” said Pathak.

According to sources, initial discussions suggested a 4:3 seat-sharing formula in Delhi, with Congress contesting four seats and AAP taking three. However, Pathak’s statement indicates that the parties failed to reach a consensus that was satisfactory for both sides.

Notably, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP swept all seven seats in the national capital, while the Congress and AAP went home empty-handed.

The offer comes amid ongoing disagreements between the INDIA bloc allies, particularly in Punjab, where the Congress decided to go it alone after being snubbed by the ruling AAP, which will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats on its own.

“For Lok Sabha elections, Punjab has 13 seats and one from Chandigarh – a total of 14 seats. In the next 10-15 days, AAP will declare its candidates in all of these 14 seats. You [supporters] have to make AAP sweep all these 14 seats with majority,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a rally last Saturday.

Seat-sharing negotiations between the two parties have been further complicated by the AAP’s demands for seats in other states, such as Haryana and Goa, where it has shown electoral promise. These demands have been met with resistance from the Congress, which is wary of diluting its own electoral prospects.

Published By:

Devika Bhattacharya

Published On:

Feb 13, 2024

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