New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that the people of Delhi are set to grant all seven Lok Sabha seats to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the upcoming elections, effectively ruling out the possibility of a coalition with the Congress in the national capital.
Speaking at a gathering in Punjab’s Tarn Taran, Kejriwal emphasised the decisive stance of Delhi’s populace, declaring, “People of Delhi have resolved to allocate all 7 Lok Sabha seats to AAP. If the people of Punjab also bestow all 13 seats to AAP, it will fortify the Bhagwant Mann government, and the Centre will hesitate to withhold funds for the state.”
Earlier discussions hinted at a potential 4:3 seat-sharing arrangement for Delhi, where Congress would contest one more seat than AAP. Kejriwal’s assertions follow his declaration a day prior that AAP would independently contest all 13 seats in Punjab and one in Chandigarh, signalling an end to seat-sharing negotiations with Congress, an ally of the INDIA bloc.
AAP’s strategic moves and seat-sharing challenges
“For the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab has 13 seats, and Chandigarh has one—a total of 14 seats. Within the next 10-15 days, AAP will unveil its candidates for all 14 seats. It is imperative for you [supporters] to ensure AAP’s victory across all these 14 seats,” stated the Delhi Chief Minister at a rally on Saturday. Despite AAP and Congress jointly contesting the recent Chandigarh mayoral polls, both parties have failed to reach a consensus on seat-sharing for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in various states.
While reaffirming its allegiance to the INDIA bloc, AAP has independently announced its Lok Sabha candidates across different states. AAP’s national general secretary (organisation)Sandeep Pathak expressed dissatisfaction over protracted seat-sharing discussions with Congress, leading to AAP unilaterally declaring its Lok Sabha candidates for three seats in Assam earlier this week.
AAP’s Gujarat nomination
Kejriwal, during his Gujarat visit in January, nominated Chaitar Vasava as the AAP candidate for the Bharuch Lok Sabha seat, voicing concerns over the sluggish pace of seat-sharing negotiations and urging INDIA bloc parties, particularly Congress, to expedite the process.
AAP’s decision to contest independently in Punjab and Delhi mirrors the stance adopted by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who announced her party’s solo venture in West Bengal, citing unsuccessful seat-sharing talks with Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.