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Sunday 26 January 2020

Gandhi-Kejriwal slugfest amid Congress-AAP negotiations

Arvind Kejriwal has reacted to Rahul Gandhi's U-turn jibe, saying the Congress is helping Narendra Modi not only in Delhi but also in UP

New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Monday about the proposed alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, taking a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He offered the AAP to contest in four seats of Delhi while the Congress would contest in the other three.

And then Gandhi made the “U-turn” remark, a term that has stuck with the Delhi chief minister’s persona since the time he wound up a 49-day government in the capital with excuses that he had never spoken of before his party got a chance for the first time to rule Delhi.

Kejriwal couldn’t have taken the jibe lying down. He responded promptly. Kejriwal tweeted, “What U-turn? Negotiations were going on. Your tweet shows you actually do not want the alliance. I’m sorry you are making such statements. Today, saving the country from the threat of Modi-Shah rule is paramount. Unfortunately, you are helping Modiji by dividing anti-Modi votes even in Uttar Pradesh and other states.”

Earlier, preparing to give away four out of the seven Delhi seats in the Lok Sabha election, Gandhi had written, “An alliance between the Congress & AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP. The Congress is willing to give up 4 Delhi seats to the AAP to ensure this. But, Mr Kejriwal has done yet another U turn! Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out.

The Congress and AAP have been negotiating the terms of the alliance for the Lok Sabha election for more than a month now. Although Gandhi cleared his stand through his tweets, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had clearly told the party high command that there should be no coalition with the AAP. This would damage the Congress, she said.

Following the first collapse of the negotiations, Kejriwal had fiercely attacked the Congress. He had said that there were “rumours” that the Congress had a “secret agreement” with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His Aam Aadmi Party was ready to fight against this ‘nexus’, he had said.

After meeting with Congress president Gandhi, former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress state president Sheila Dikshit had turned down the idea of an alliance with the AAP.

For all reports related to the Lok Sabha election 2019, please visit this page.

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