Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left), AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal (centre) and Congress President Rahul Gandhi (right). (Source: BloombergQuint)

Election 2019: Will BJP Benefit From No Congress-AAP Alliance In Delhi?

It wasn’t the Aam Aadmi Party that rejected an alliance with the Congress, according to Spokesperson Akshay Marathe.

Although the Arvind Kejriwal-led party’s primary agenda was the Congress’ defeat, it was “willing to make a compromise and forge an alliance” in the greater national interest, he told BloombergQuint in an interview.

Putting an end to months of speculation, the AAP and Congress ruled out prospects of any alliance in the national capital in this Lok Sabha elections. Both parties have nominated candidates for all seven seats in Delhi. The national capital will now witness a three-cornered contest among the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and AAP with star powers such as former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, singer Hans Raj Hans and boxer Vijender Singh in the fray.

Source: BloombergQuint
Source: BloombergQuint

While the talks of an alliance were initiated keeping the bigger picture of defeating the BJP in mind, the Congress seems to be on a “good wicket” with strong candidates in the fray, according to party spokesperson Aman Panwar.

So, will the BJP gain from this?

Political commentator Amitabh Tiwari said the contest in Delhi, with only seven seats, is not going to have a significant impact on the government formation at the centre.

The Congress did not want to tie-up with the AAP in light of the upcoming state polls, Tiwari told BloombergQuint. “The Congress made the mistake of supporting the AAP in the 2015 elections when the Congress’ entire vote share transferred to Kejriwal’s bank.”

While the Congress has fielded some of its senior-most leaders in Delhi, AAP’s Marathe said they are the same leaders who lost their deposits in the 2015 elections.

Regional Factor

The AAP’s regional stronghold will not be a deciding factor for the battle at the centre, Congress’ Panwar said.

But AAP’s Marathe said there are states like West Bengal where regional parties sweep to victory and play a key role. “Any voter who is going to vote for the Congress in this election will actually help the BJP,” he said. “It is not a triangular fight in the capital but a direct one between the BJP and the AAP.”

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