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Amid uncertainty over its tie-up with AAP in Delhi Cong leader Ahmed Patel meets Sheila Dikshit


New Delhi, April 10: Amid continued uncertainty over its tie-up with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel met the party's Delhi unit president Sheila Dikshit at her residence on Wednesday, sources said.

Ahmed Patel

Dikshit refused to comment on the meeting, saying the issue of alliance was dragging for long and it would be good if the prevailing uncertainty is over. "Let us hope so," she told PTI when asked if the possibility of alliance with the AAP was over.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Delhi Congress P C Chacko, reacting to AAP leader Sanjay Singh's statement that the talk of alliance with Congress was over, said the BJP cannot be defeated single-handedly in Delhi by it.

"No problem, we welcome his statement," Chacko told PTI. He said that as in-charge of Delhi Congress, he had started talks with the AAP because both sides agreed that the BJP cannot be defeated if the two parties contest separately in the Lok Sabha elections.

Chacko said that the names of Congress candidates will be discussed in the Congress' central election committee (CEC) meeting on Thursday. "The announcement of candidates is possible after the meeting," he said.

During Dikshit's meeting with Patel, which lasted around 40 minutes, the two leaders are believed to have discussed the possibility of a tie-up with the AAP and deliberated about probable candidates to be fielded from the national capital, ahead of the CEC meeting.

The meeting also assumed significance as Dikshit has been an open critic of the tie-up, while Patel is known to be in favour of an alliance.

Patel had earlier held talks with AAP leader Sanjay Singh to discuss the prospects of an alliance between the two parties which could hurt the BJP's prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.

While the AAP has been pressing for a tie-up with the Congress in Delhi and Haryana, the Congress is reluctant to have any pre-poll arrangement beyond the national capital.

Delhi Congress sources claimed that the former MPs from Delhi and other "well known" senior leaders of the party may be announced as party candidates from seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital, after the CEC meeting.

According to sources, the possibility of an alliance between the two parties may not be over yet, and the current contradictory statements from them could be a pressure tactic to secure a better deal in seat-sharing.

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