Sheila Dikshit replaced Ajay Maken as the Delhi Congress chief
Speculations over an alliance between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections intensified on Thursday, with Sheila Dikshit being appointed as new president of the grand old party's Delhi unit.
Sheila Dikshit, however, refused to comment on the alliance issue. Earlier, she had said she will accept the Congress high command's decision on a tie-up with the AAP.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and in-charge of Delhi unit, PC Chacko, while announcing the appointment of Ms Dikshit as new president, said there were no talks within the Delhi unit about an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and it was fully prepared to contest the parliamentary election on its own.
"I have no opinion just now that I would like to share. Let me get involved and understand the situation from top to downwards and then only I will react to it," Ms Dikshit said reacting to speculations on her party joining hands with the AAP in Delhi.
Multiple sources in the two parties, however, claimed that the chances of alliance for the general elections have brightened with the appointment of Sheila Dikshit.
PC Chacko had earlier said that the issue of Congress's alliance with other parties will be decided by the AK Antony committee of the party.
Sheila Dikshit has replaced Ajay Maken, who was opposed to any alliance with the AAP that he bitterly criticised over issues of governance and corruption.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who levelled grave allegations against Sheila Dikshit is so "flustered" with "inaction" of his government and popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he is ready to tie up with Congress.
"He had promised to send Sheila Dikshit to jail for corruption but may be gave up the idea thinking she was not active in politics. Now that she has been appointed as Delhi Congress president, Kejriwal ji would definitely send her behind the bars in a few days," he said.
BJP's Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta claimed H S Phoolka resigned from the AAP due to the possibility of its alliance with the Congress and Ajay Maken stepped down as Delhi Congress president for the same reason.
The AAP said that Sheila Dikshit's appointment as Delhi Congress president showed there was "serious deficit" of leadership in the party.
"In 2013, Sheila Dixit was the CM when she lost her own seat to Arvind Kejriwal. Then Congress changed two state presidents and got zero seats in Legislative Assembly and Parliament elections. She was later made CM candidate for UP which also Congress lost. Bringing her back means serious deficit of leadership in Delhi Congress. We wish her good health," AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
However, the AAP has so far not denied speculations on possibility of alliance with Congress.
Senior party leader Gopal Rai earlier said that the decision on alliance will be taken by Political Affairs Committee of the AAP.