Lok Sabha polls: AAP-Cong alliance sealed in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana

In Gujarat, the Congress will contest 24 seats, with AAP fielding candidates in two. In Haryana, it will contest nine seats and the AAP one

The Congress-AAP joint press conference
The Congress-AAP joint press conference

NH Political Bureau

Ending uncertainty over seat sharing, two major alliance partners of the Indian Nationalist Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress — formally announced a seat-sharing arrangement in Delhi, Gujarat, and Haryana for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In Delhi, the AAP will contest four out of seven Lok Sabha seats, with the Congress taking the remaining three. The AAP will contest from New Delhi, East Delhi, West Delhi, and South Delhi, the Congress will field candidates in North-East, Chandni Chowk, and North-West.

The seat-sharing agreement extends to Gujarat, where the Congress will contest 24 out of 26 Lok Sabha seats, with the AAP fielding candidates in Bharuch and Bhavnagar. In Haryana, the Congress will contest nine out of 10 Lok Sabha seats, while the AAP will put up a candidate in Kurukshetra.

At a joint press conference in Delhi on Saturday, Congress MP and general-secretary Mukul Wasnik highlighted the collaborative decision-making process and stated that after extensive discussions, it was agreed that the Congress would contest the Chandigarh seat.

On Thursday, AAP leader and Delhi minister Atishi Marlena, who was present at today's press meet, had claimed that the party's national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will be arrested in the "next three to four days" by Central agency CBI if the party enters into a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress.

A day later, her fellow Delhi minister Gopal Rai declared, "The AAP was never scared of the BJP and its agencies' threats, and we won't be scared in the future either," Rai said. "The AAP will fight the elections as part of the INDIA bloc and no one can stop us."

Today's formalised arrangement reflects the strategic distribution of Lok Sabha seats between the AAP and Congress in these three states, strengthening their alliance under the INDIA bloc.

The BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in both the 2014 and 2019 general elections. In 2019, the Congress emerged as runner-up in East Delhi, West Delhi, New Delhi, North-East Delhi, and Chandni Chowk, while AAP claimed the second position in North-West Delhi and South Delhi.

The INDIA bloc, a coalition of prominent Opposition parties, has united with the common goal of contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha elections against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP.

The coalition's inaugural meeting was held in Patna on 23 June 2023. However, over the course of eight months, the alliance has encountered several challenges. A significant setback came from Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, who recently shifted his party Janata Dal (United) to align with the NDA.

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