AAP announces Lok Sabha candidates for South Goa and two Guj seats, offers 1 seat to Congress in Delhi | India News

NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday announced candidates for two Lok Sabha constituencies in Gujarat and one in Goa, apart from making an open offer of only one seat to Congress in Delhi. Though the move points to what is likely the total collapse of the AAP-Congress seat-sharing talks under the INDIA banner, AAP asserted that it remains part of the opposition bloc and committed to defeating the BJP.
This, even as party’s political affairs committee member Sandeep Pathak snubbed Congress by citing data on the GOP’s past electoral performances and its persistence, despite its poor showing, on ‘parivaarvaad’.
AAP’s national general secretary (Organisation) and Rajya Sabha member Sandeep Pathak announced on Tuesday that their MLA from Benaulim, Venzy Viegas will contest from the South Goa seat, while Dediapada MLA Chaitar Vasava and Botad MLA Umesh Bhai Makwana from Bharuch and Bhavnagar seats in Gujarat respectively.
Reiterating its commitment to be a part of the INDIA alliance, Pathak announced that the AAP will field six candidates in Delhi, leaving just one seat for the Congress. He justified the offer saying that the Congress Party had zero seats in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and the Assembly election in Delhi in 2020. Also they have only 9 seats out of 250 in MCD. He said they will wait for the Congress response for a few days but if there is no conclusion, then AAP will announce the candidates for these 6 seats too.
Pathak cited repeated failed attempts to hold discussions with Congress in the last month and that AAP was left waiting without any clue on the way forward. He said he is making the announcement with the sole purpose of defeating the BJP and that the INDIA alliance was set-up for that purpose. “I am sitting here with a heavy heart. There would have been no need to do this if we had talked,” Pathak added.
Citing the vote share math of Gujarat based on assembly elections results in 2022, Pathak while announcing two seats said, “in all we have asked for eight seats from the INDIA alliance.” Pathak asserted that he hoped that the candidates announced by AAP will be accepted by the Alliance.
As for the Bharuch seat, Pathak said he was told by the Congress that it was an “emotional seat” for them as the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel used to contest from this seat and now his daughter, Mumtaz, will fight from here. Pathak countered the claim highlighting that it has been 40 years since the Congress won this seat. “If you want to defeat the BJP, you will have to come out of parivarvaad (nepotism). You will have to focus on who can win which seat and who can defeat the BJP,” he added.
Pathak reiterated that respecting the decision of the state units of the AAP as well as the Congress in Punjab, it has been decided to go solo in the polls. However, talks on seat sharing in Haryana and Chandigarh are still open and he hoped that the discussion with the Congress would happen soon.


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