The Congress blamed AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday for “botching up” the possibility of an alliance of the two parties for the Lok Sabha polls, with the two sides trading barbs on the issue that hogged the headlines for weeks prior to the nomination of candidates in Delhi.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko said that there is no possibility of an alliance between his party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) anymore as the last date for withdrawal of nominations in Delhi is Friday.
Kejriwal Thursday said Rahul Gandhi would be the only person responsible if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came back to power as he slammed the Congress chief days after both the parties failed to form an alliance in Delhi.
Chacko said Kejriwal was to be “squarely blamed” for the failure to arrive at an understanding as the Delhi chief minister went back on his words after a 4-3 seat-sharing formula was worked out for the national capital.
“The time is over now. Tomorrow is the last day for withdrawal of names, so that possibility is not there. The alliance is a closed chapter now. They (AAP) have openly taken a stand that they do not want an alliance with the Congress,” he said.
The idea of an alliance between the two parties, which have been bitter critics of each other, had germinated from the fact that together, they had polled more votes than the BJP, which had won all the seven seats in Delhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Both the Congress and the AAP had drawn a blank in the general election in the national capital five years ago.
Gandhi was quoted by a Hindi newspaper as saying that he would wait till the last second for an alliance with the AAP. Earlier, in a tweet, the Congress chief had accused Kejriwal of taking a “U-turn” on the issue.
“Withdrawal of names was technically possible after Rahul said he would wait. But the time for that is also over now,” Chacko said.
It was decided that the AAP would contest four seats in Delhi while the Congress would field candidates in the three remaining seats but later, at a meeting of leaders of the two parties, the AAP said it would not go for a tie-up in the national capital alone and demanded that Haryana be brought within the ambit of the alliance talks, he added.
“Kejriwal is squarely responsible for there being no alliance. His attitude is to be blamed for it,” the Congress leader said.
Kejriwal said the AAP would not have “dreamt” of forming an alliance with the Congress, but had agreed for it to save the country.
On Gandhi’s comment that he would try for an alliance with the AAP in Delhi till the last moment, he said, “This is posturing. They do not have the intention.”
On the seat-sharing arrangement proposed by the Congress, the AAP supremo said giving three seats to the grand old party would mean losing all three.