Aam Aadmi Party convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday confirmed the participation of his party in the forthcoming meeting of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc, scheduled to be held in Mumbai this month end. This comes amid a row over seat sharing between AAP and Congress in the 2024 Lok Sabha election in Delhi constituencies.
“We will go to Mumbai. We will also let you know whatever the strategy will be,” Kejriwal told reporters on the sidelines of an event he attended in the national capital.
The Opposition alliance is set to conduct its third meeting on August 31 and September 1. AAP was a part of two meetings held earlier in Patna and Bengaluru.
Tension was rife between the two allies after Congress leader Alka Lamba gave a statement after a party-level meeting saying they are ‘preparing on all seven Delhi (Lok Sabha) seats’. “No decision has been taken on whether to have an alliance, but we have been asked to prepare ourselves on all seven seats. We will go to the people strongly after preparing ourselves properly in all seven seats,” she told news agency PTI earlier.
This statement miffed AAP leaders leading them to question the basis of the alliance. They also argued that attending the next I.N.D.I.A. meeting would be ‘pointless’. “If they do not want an alliance in Delhi, then going to INDIA meeting is pointless and a waste of time. Our top leadership will decide whether we have to attend the next INDIA meeting,” AAP chief spokesperson said earlier.
Responding to AAP’s reaction, Congress’ Delhi in-charge Deepak Babaria hit out at the party and said ‘Delhi has become directionless and no progress has been made from the point where Sheila Dikshit (former Delhi CM) had left’. “The decision on the shape of the alliance in Delhi has to be taken by the party high command…whatever decision comes from high command, we will follow,” he said.
CM Kejriwal also ruffled Congress’ feathers earlier by calling out the ‘poor condition’ of schools in Chhattisgarh, while he was looking to make inroads in the poll-bound state. He further attacked Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party during a campaign in Madhya Pradesh, saying both parties were given ‘enough opportunities’ over the last 75 years.
“You have tried both parties, it’s been 75 years and trying for another 75 years won’t bring any change. Only AAP will provide electricity,” he said while vowing for 24-hour electricity in the state if the party is brough to power.