Congress And AAP: Going Their Own WaysWith the Congress declaring candidates for 6 Delhi seats, the unity talks with AAP are now dead and buried. AAP had already declared candidates for all 7 seats but only one had filed his nomination. The party had put the nomination of three candidates on hold in the anticipation of a tie-up with the Congress. But the alliance could not be stitched together due mainly to the Congress insistence that Delhi be treated as an isolated case, while AAP wanted a combined discussion for Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana. Both Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal threw barbs at each other for scuttling the efforts to unite.
By Linus Garg
The Congress list includes Sheila Dikshit (North East Delhi) and Ajay Maken (New Delhi). The other candidates are J.P.Agarwal from Chandni Chowk, Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi, Rajesh Lilothia from North West Delhi- SC and Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi. The Congress did not name anyone from South Delhi, where its originally selected candidate, Ramesh Kumar, the brother of anti-Sikh riot accused Sajjan Kumar met with stiff resistance from Sikh groups. The surprise omission was Kapil Sibal, but that was more due to his own reluctance to fight in three-cornered contests.
Although Arvind Kejriwal displayed uncharacteristic pliancy bordering on capitulation to enter into an alliance with the Congress, the latter was adamant that it would not leave any seats for AAP in Punjab where it thinks that it can win all seats on its own. But one feels that this will hand all seven seats in Delhi to the BJP. It also shows that talks of opposition unity are just a lot of hot air. At crunch time, inflated egos and desire to protect own turf take precedence over the wish to unseat Narendra Modi. With all opinion polls showing a tough fight, a few seats snatched from the BJP in Delhi would have mattered a lot. Both the parties have missed a huge opportunity by not allying in Delhi.