After aping each others’ political styles, Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal seem to be avoiding each other

Despite growing pressure on them by like-minded allies to set aside their differences and present a united front against the BJP in 2019, it seems like Aam Aadmi Party and Congress could hardly see eye to eye. And as reported by TOI, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took special care to ensure that they never appeared on the same frame during the protest organized by RJD against the mass rapes in Bihar at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

The story thus far suggests that although the central leadership of the Congress party may be well disposed to an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, their state unit is not warming up to the prospects. Merely days after informal talks between the two parties for an alliance, Congress leaders conspicuously gave Kejriwal’s iftar party a miss. Although Rahul Gandhi’s recent ‘Shiv-Bhakti’ might have contributed to their absence, personal differences with the AAP in light of a possible alliance likely played its part as well.

Earlier, Delhi CM was also pushed into oblivion during the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.

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Where is Kejriwal in ‘United Opposition’?

Rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra claimed in March that Arvind Kejriwal will ally with Congress and is willing to dump the Punjab unit of the party as part of a bargain. And in June, it was confirmed by various sources, including a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, that an alliance between the two parties was indeed a possibility. Many people were amused by Kejriwal’s U-turn on the matter when he has sworn on his children that he will never ally with either the Congress or the BJP.

Kapil Mishra’s claim that Arvind Kejriwal will dump the Punjab unit of his party if necessary to secure an alliance with Congress does not seem too far-fetched considering the rift between central leadership of the party and its Punjab unit was out in public after Kejriwal’s apology to Shiromani Akali Dal’s general secretary Bikram Majithia in a defamation case. The Punjab unit was also accused of ‘lack of support’ to Kejriwal while he was fighting the case against Majithia. However, the biggest roadblock to an alliance between Congress and AAP is the state unit of the Congress party which appears resolute in its stance against the alliance. It is also unclear how Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will react to an alliance between the two parties considering the Aam Aadmi Party is known to have flirted with Khalistani elements in his state during the run-up to Punjab elections.

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