INDIA bloc: Congress-AAP alliance in Haryana looks indefinite - Hindustan Times
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INDIA bloc: Congress-AAP alliance in Haryana looks indefinite

By, Chandigarh
Jan 26, 2024 09:14 AM IST

AAPs state unit in neighbouring Punjab on Wednesday had ruled out a truck with the Congress for the Parliament elections

An electoral tie-up between two constituents of the Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) --- the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) --- in Haryana looks indefinite for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

While the Haryana Congress leadership does not seem too keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the AAP in Haryana, the latter is more receptive about the prospects of a coalition. (HT Photo)
While the Haryana Congress leadership does not seem too keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the AAP in Haryana, the latter is more receptive about the prospects of a coalition. (HT Photo)

AAPs state unit in neighbouring Punjab on Wednesday had ruled out a truck with the Congress for the Parliament elections.

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While the Haryana Congress leadership does not seem too keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the AAP in Haryana, the latter is more receptive about the prospects of a coalition.

Congress legislature party leader (CLP) and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said the party high command will take a final call on the decision to have an alliance with the AAP in Haryana for the Parliament elections. “The Congress is capable of contesting all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana on its own. However, we will abide by the decision of the central high command of the party,’’ Hooda said.

AAP sources said the Haryana Lok Sabha tie-up has been discussed during a couple of meetings of the INDIA bloc attended by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal and AAP leaders Raghav Chadha and Sandeep Pathak.

Sources in the Congress and the AAP, however, said that things are too fluid at the moment. It will take some time to settle issues, if at all, including seat-sharing arrangement.

Haryana AAP president Sushil Gupta said he has suggested to the party high command that they should strive for 50% seats (5 out of 10) in Haryana for the Lok Sabha. “The electoral tie-up will be only for the Lok Sabha polls and not the assembly elections. The AAP will contest the assembly elections on its own,’’ Gupta said.

The state AAP president said that under the seat-sharing arrangement, AAP will ask for Lok Sabha constituencies neighbouring Punjab – Ambala, Kurukshetra and Sirsa and two Parliament constituencies contiguous to Delhi – Gurugram and Faridabad. “However, the party high command will take a final decision,’’ Gupta said.

A number of Haryana Congress leaders, however, said the party should not yield space to the AAP, particularly when the Congress happens to be the principal opposition in the state and a frontrunner to challenge the BJP in the 2024 assembly polls.

Statistics show that the AAP, which contested three seats --- Ambala, Karnal and Faridabad --- in 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) polled about 45,400 votes in the three constituencies. The AAP candidate in Ambala, Karnal and Faridabad got 0.93%, 1.7% and 0.84% votes, respectively, of the total votes polled in each Lok Sabha constituency.

In the subsequent Haryana assembly elections, the AAP contested alone on 46 seats and got less than 1% of the votes in the constituencies it had contested.

“The outcome of the Lok Sabha elections will have a bearing on the assembly elections in Haryana. Our strength lies in contesting all the 10 Lok Sabha seats,” said a former minister, who did not wish to be named.

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