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Is the Delhi battle between BJP and Congress only

By Anuj Cariappa
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New Delhi, Mar 11: Union minister and senior BJP leader Vijay Goel on Sunday said his party had a direct fight with the Congress in the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and the AAP will bag the third place in the national capital in the upcoming general election.

Is the Delhi battle between BJP and Congress only

"People will vote to form a government at the Centre, so our fight in Delhi is with the Congress. Who will vote for Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP, which has no say in the formation of the next government in the country," Goel told PTI in an interview.

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The former Delhi BJP chief, who was termed by party president Amit Shah as the "eighth" Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, is a probable from the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat, currently held by Union minister Harsh Vardhan.

Goel is currently a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan.

"In the coming Lok Sabha election, the BJP will have a direct contest with the Congress. The people of Delhi are disenchanted with (Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal. The BJP will again win all the seven seats in the national capital," the Union minister claimed.

His comments assume significance as the speculation on a pre-poll alliance between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress in Delhi for the upcoming polls refuses to die down.

Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit, after a meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, had said there was unanimity in her party against an alliance with the AAP for the Lok Sabha election.

Later, Gandhi had also said the Delhi unit of his party was against such an alliance.

Goel said the AAP had conceded that the Congress was ahead of it in the coming polls and that his why party supremo Kejriwal was "pleading" to it for an alliance. "He (Kejriwal) has no option but to go it alone in the polls now as the Congress has refused to ally with his party," he added.

"The refusal of the Congress to go for an alliance with the AAP shows its confidence to take on the BJP. But the AAP, which rules Delhi, lacks even that confidence," Goel said.

An old-timer in the Delhi BJP, Goel was its president in 2013. He was the BJP MP from Delhi Sadar (1996) and Chandni Chowk (1998 and 1999), before being sent to the Rajya Sabha and given a cabinet berth in the Narendra Modi government.

The Union minister claimed that the AAP had "failed" to live up to the expectations of the people after its massive victory in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, adding that its leaders had also been accused of corruption.

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"The AAP learnt no lessons from its defeat in the municipal corporation election in 2017.

People have made up their mind to vote against the party in the Lok Sabha polls, because it has failed them," he said.

The BJP holds all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital. Uncertainty prevails over an alliance between the AAP and the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls, but if it comes about, the saffron party will face an uphill task to retain its 2014 tally.

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