Ahead of the third meeting of the INDIA alliance, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress engaged in a dispute in the capital regarding their potential collaboration for the Lok Sabha elections in the city.
After an emergency organizational meeting led by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, and organization general secretary KC Venugopal with Delhi unit leaders, representatives from both parties' state units concluded that the decision on a possible alliance for 2024 rested with their national leaders.
Following the three-hour-long meeting, Delhi Congress leader Alka Lamba discussed the focus on strengthening the organization and preparing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the city. Each leader has been assigned responsibilities to commence work on the seven seats in the fray, with seven months remaining until the elections, she stated.
However, the AAP responded strongly to Lamba's statement, with spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar expressing that if the Congress had decided against forming an alliance in Delhi, there would be no purpose in attending the INDIA alliance meeting and wasting time.
The AAP leadership will make the final decision on their participation in the next meeting, she added.
Saurabh Bharadwaj, another AAP Minister, stated that the decision regarding the development would be made by the central leadership. He mentioned that the political affairs committee and INDIA parties would convene to discuss the matter.
According to reports, senior party leaders in the AAP are slated to engage with the Congress to seek clarification on its stance regarding a potential alliance in the 2024 elections.
Notably, the third meeting of the INDIA alliance is scheduled to take place at the end of the month.
On the other hand, reports also revealed that the Congress high command had instructed the party's Delhi leadership to make organizational preparations in all seven Parliamentary seats in Delhi.
During the meeting, Deepak Babaria, the AICC in-charge for Delhi and Haryana, highlighted the party's strategy for the 2024 Parliamentary elections in Delhi. Representatives from various sections of society expressed their concerns about the current direction of Delhi, which they believe has lost the prosperity it had under Sheila Dikshit ji.
Babaria emphasized that the Congress will actively oppose the anti-people policies of both the BJP government at the Centre and the AAP government in Delhi. He also added that Arvind Kejriwal ji had failed to fulfill his promises, such as generating employment in the capital.
Babaria then criticized Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal on various issues, including the contract system in government departments, the efficiency of Mohalla Clinics and government schools, and problems like traffic jams and the environment in Delhi.
According to reports, Babaria was urgently called to the meeting in Delhi from Gujarat. During the meeting, he urged the Congress high command to announce the new president of the party's state unit in Delhi promptly, based on feedback from its members.
Further, reports also suggest that the meeting held on Wednesday has opened the door for long-pending appointments in the Delhi unit. This meeting follows similar discussions that have taken place over the past few days.
Interestingly, Kharge referred to the meeting as a consultation.
In addition to Lamba and others, the meeting was attended by senior party leaders such as Ajay Maken, Haroon Yusuf, Krishna Tirath, and Sandeep Dikshit.
A senior Congress leader stated that there was a similar meeting on Monday to gather the views of the state leadership before appointing the new president of the state unit.
The leader also stated that the selection of the state unit leader is crucial as they will lead the party and ensure the party's members are aligned, especially in relation to the possibility of a seat-sharing agreement with the AAP in Delhi for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the subsequent Delhi Assembly elections a year later.
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