AAP gives mixed signals over alliance with Congress
By  IANS | Updated:  Dec 29, 2018, 11:00 AM
The Aam Aadmi Party's stand on a tie-up with the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections remained unclear on Friday as AAP leaders attacked the Congress for its "conditional" farm loan waiver while not completely ruling out chances of an alliance.
Speaking to the media after a meeting of party's national executive on today, AAP Delhi convener Gopal Rai said, "The party will monitor the situation in the coming days and will take a decision accordingly", when asked about the chances of alliance with the Congress.
AAP's Punjab convener Bhagwant Mann termed the question of alliance "hypothetical." The AAP is in opposition in Punjab and the Congress is in power.
"Have you ever heard of an opposition party joining hands with the one in power? What will we tell people if we joined hands?" Mann said.
The AAP leaders attacked the Congress over "conditions" imposed by the party for loan waivers in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where it came to power a few days ago.
"The farmers are being exploited by both Congress and BJP. Before the 2014 elections, the BJP had promised that they would ensure corrections in crop prices. But they failed. Similarly, the Congress too had promised a complete loan waiver," Rai said.
"The Congress is also not able to fulfill its promise of a loan waiver in the three states where it won the Assembly elections. Only some selected farmers will get the benefit," Rai said.
AAP's Rajasthan leader Rampal Jat also attacked the Congress.
"The congress has promised that it will give a complete loan wavier to the farmers within 10 days of coming to power in the three states. Now, they have imposed several conditions. Both the parties (Congress and BJP) are exploiting the farmers," Jat said.
The AAP demanded the Congress implement a complete loan waiver.
Briefing the media about the other decisions, Rai said the AAP will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with its full strength with an aim to defeat the 'Modi-Shah' combine.
"We will contest on all those seats where we can defeat the Modi-Shah duo," Rai said without giving details of the seats.
"The way the Modi-Shah are disturbing the fabric of democracy and trying to establish dictatorship is dangerous for the people."
The AAP will have a national council meeting on Saturday and will discuss all aspects of Lok Sabha election campaign, Rai said.
"The national council members and convenors from different states will take part in the meeting on Saturday," Rai said.
The members, in the meeting, will decide the party's strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The party will also decide on the number of seats it will contest and any possibility of alliance, Rai added.
Amid speculation that the party was planning to amend the AAP's constitution in order to allow Arvind Kejriwal to continue as the party's convener, Rai said, "There is no such agenda for the meeting".
According to AAP's constitution, no member can hold the same post as an office-bearer for more than two consecutive terms of three years each. AAP was founded on November 26, 2012. Senior party officials said Kejriwal's tenure as convener is due to end in April 2019.
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