NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal-led
Aam Aadmi Party
on Thursday dealt another blow to the fledgling
INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance)as it unilaterally announced candidates for three
Lok Sabha seats
in Assam. AAP hoped that its decision will be accepted by INDIA bloc as it echoed the common worry of all allies “How much more time will be wasted in talking?”
“Talks with INDIA alliance have been going on for months.
We are growing tired of merely talking now. We have to contest elections and win them too. We don’t have time. We stand with INDIA alliance and hope that alliance allots these three seats announced today to AAP. When you come into an alliance and your target is to win election, time and strategy are paramount. We have become tired of talking,” AAP MP
Pathak went on to say that the party will start preparations on these seats as time was running out. “All things should be expedited. Talks have been going on for months but still there is no result. We are with the INDIA bloc in fighting against the Modi government. All the decisions on alliance should be taken immediately,” he stressed.
Congress, which is the main opposition party in the state, is unlikely to accept this unilateral decision. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had won 3 seats while the UDF had bagged one. The BJP’s tally was 9 while one seat went to an Independent.
This is the second blow dealt by AAP to the opposition alliance. Earlier, Punjab chief minister and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann had ruled out any alliance with the Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Punjab and Delhi are the two states where AAP is in power and the Congress is a political rival. The state units of both the parties are against any alliance as they fear their long-term interests will be compromised.
INDIA bloc has already seen a bitter parting of ways between the Congress and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal over failed seat-sharing. Delay in seat-sharing talks was one of the reasons cited by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for quitting the opposition alliance. In fact, Nitish had insisted on finalising seat-sharing by December of last year.
The Congress panel of senior leaders, formed to undertake seat sharing negotiations with other parties, has failed to come to an agreement in any state as of now. The regional parties are not ready to cede much ground to the Congress in the states where they are the dominant players. The grand old party also is not ready to play second fiddle to them as it tries to improve its electoral fortunes.