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Cong-AAP Alliance Unlikely To Take Off

Guess it is in the nature of I.N.D.I.A. front, you could be a member of the group and still not belong to it. Well that is what is happening to at least two main stakeholders in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc — the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Leaders of both the parties met for the first time early this week to discuss seat sharing arrangements for the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, with the Congress expressing the desire to contest four of the seven Lok Sabha seats, and the latter seeking to expand the scope of the discussion to include an alliance in Gujarat, Goa, and Haryana. The Congress leaders, however, told AAP representatives that their current mandate was limited to discussing seat sharing in Delhi. Interestingly, the Congress leaders did not even mention Punjab. Congress sources pointed out that the AAP was mainly interested in increasing its footprint across India and was keen to fall back on the Congress apparatus to grow. Delhi Congress leaders are not too comfortable working with Arvind Kejriwal. With ED noose tightening on Kejriwal, political analysts point to the way even an obliging Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann — who has been relentlessly flying Kejriwal around in state aircraft – had decided to make himself scarce for once and pushed off for a 4-day vipassana break in Andhra. “Our Punjab unit is determined to fight the Lok Sabha polls on their own. But for the electricity subsidy, the AAP Government has done nothing here,” says a Congress MP from Punjab.