Sheila Dikshit writes to Rahul Gandhi, says alliance with AAP will harm Congress

Uncertainty persisted in the Delhi Congress over a pre-poll tie-up with the AAP after its chief Sheila Dikshit and her three working presidents wrote to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi against the alliance, sources said. In a letter written last week, Dikshit and working presidents Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia protested a recent phone survey to gauge workers’ mood on the alliance.

“Dikshit and the working presidents have urged the Congress chief not to have an alliance with the AAP, saying it will harm the party in the long run,” said a Delhi Congress leader.

The leader said they have also expressed reservation over the phone survey, being carried out through Shakti app of the party, which was undertaken by PC Chacko, the AICC incharge of Delhi Congress.

The survey sought views of around 52,000 Delhi Congress workers on whether they supported the party’s alliance with the AAP in Delhi or not.

Chacko had said earlier that a report of the survey would be submitted to Gandhi who would take a final call on the issue.

Dikshit had opposed the survey, saying it was “overriding” Gandhi’s decision that the Delhi Congress was against the alliance. Earlier this month, Dikshit, after meeting Gandhi, had claimed that there was unanimity in the party against an alliance with the AAP.

However, opinion seems to be divided in the Congress over the issue. Many believe that it is necessary to have an alliance to take on the BJP as the saffron party is upbeat after air strikes by the Modi government following the Pulwama terror attack.

“We do not think it will be an easy task for us to fight against the resurgent BJP and the ruling AAP in Delhi in the Lok Sabha polls. Also, things will be tougher for us as both the Congress and the AAP have the same voter base which will be split if there is no alliance,”a senior Delhi Congress leader said.

The opponents of the alliance in the party believe that the move will be “suicidal” as the Congress has to face the Delhi Assembly polls early next year and its main rival will be the ruling AAP.