Attempts to form an alliance in New Delhi between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress have failed, with the Rahul Gandhi-led party 'unanimously' deciding against forming a pre-poll gathbandhan with Arvind Kejriwal's party.
Addressing media following a meeting of the Congress party's Delhi leadership in which party president Rahul Gandhi was also present, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit made the announcement.
"In the meeting we have unanimously decided against gathbandhan with the Aam Aadmi Party. The decision was taken before Rahul Gandhi so it is final. There is no alliance."
The decision to not ally comes hours after it looked very much like another outcome was on the cards. Out of the seven New Delhi Lok Sabha seats, the Congress wanted to contest four, while the AAP was offering a maximum of three. The BJP had won all seven seats in the 2014 elections. This was not agreeable to Sheila Dikshit, and finally now, after weeks of back-and-forth, a conclusive decision has been taken.
The inability to strike a deal with regards to seat-sharing in Delhi isn't the first time such a thing has happened to the Congress party in recent months. The most significant example of this was in Uttar Pradesh - India's most electorally significant state - where the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party struck an alliance but without the Congress as a result of which Rahul Gandhi took the plunge by finally inducting his sister Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra into the Congress fold, appointing her as the party general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East.