A day after Congress sought views from its workers regarding a possible pact with Aam Aadmi Party, AICC-Delhi- in charge P C Chacko said an alliance is the only way to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Speaking to Outlook, Chacko said that Delhi Congress Chief Sheila Dikshit is not the final authority in deciding the alliance.
Sheila Dikshit has been consistently saying ‘no’ to an alliance with AAP. Is there a rift in the Delhi unit regarding the issue?
There is a difference of opinion in the state units regarding this. There are six Congress presidents in Delhi including Sheila Dikshit and five of them are in favour of an alliance. Similarly, the 14 district committees are also all in favour of a pact. We are of the view that Congress alone cannot win in Delhi. The alliance is a policy decided by the working committee.
Was it Dikshit’s stubbornness that led to the collapse of talks between the parties?
Dikshit is holding a view that she doesn’t want to have an alliance with AAP. Her reason is that Kejriwal is not a reliable person. But she should answer the question that how will we win seven seats in Delhi? She is not addressing that question. I think, as a senior leader she should rise up to the situation.
Why do you favour an alliance with AAP?
I think tie-up is a political necessity in Delhi. Congress has an approximate vote share of 20-22 per cent and the AAP has 35 -40 per cent. BJP’s vote share is around 45 per cent and they may get a slight edge after Pulwama. It’s simple logic that coming together of the AAP and the Congress will be detrimental for the BJP.
Dikshit also said that she is not aware of the opinion polls. Are we given to believe that there is a communication gap?
I have already informed her that Congress president wants to know about the opinion of workers. It was my recorded voice that was going out on the message in the Shakti app seeking an opinion poll. She may not be aware of the app.
Did you try to convince Dikshit about the necessity of an alliance?
I have been trying to convince her that there is no valid reason for not having a tie- up with Kejriwal. We are going with parties like DMK, NCP, TDP and RJD with an objective to defeat the BJP. If the seven seats in Delhi go to the BJP, it will be a moral boost to them and it shouldn’t happen. But she has her own reservations. However, she is not the final authority to decide. Party working committee has constituted a committee under AK Antony to decide alliances at various states. It’s a normal process that we take the opinion of DPCC before we proceed.
Even Rahul Gandhi said that we have to win all seats in Delhi. What does that message imply?
Rahul Gandhi didn’t say that we are going alone in polls. He goes by working committee decisions.
Why couldn’t the central leadership prevail upon Sheila Dikshit?
Rahul Gandhi is democratic and he expected the Delhi Congress leadership to sit together and take the right decision.
Will Rahul Gandhi go by the outcome of the opinion polls?
Political decisions are taken on different parameters. This is one among them. The central leadership will take the final call. In 2-3 days, you will get to know the good news.
But AAP said that they are moving ahead as Congress is slow in taking decision…
They are also in a dilemma. What can they do if the state Congress chief issues statements on a daily basis that ‘we are not ready for alliance’? Despite their reservations and differences with Congress, they are willing for an alliance with us.
What about AAP’s demand for alliance in other states with Congress?
Those discussions will happen later. I am clueless about their demands of seat- sharing. I came to know about from the mediators that they are ready for a 50 -50 seat-sharing arrangement in Delhi.