Months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Ajay Maken has resigned from the post of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president raising suspicions that the Congress party might be clearing the decks for an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party for the upcoming general elections.
According to reports, The 54-year-old Maken had taken the reigns of Delhi Congress four years ago, after the party’s humiliating loss in state elections after ruling Delhi for fifteen years. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has reportedly accepted Maken’s resignation.
Ajay Maken today tweeted, “I would like to thank the Delhi Congress workers, the media who provided coverage to the party and our party president Rahul Gandhi for their love and support ever since I took charge of the state unit after the Assembly elections in 2015.”
2015 विधान सभा के उपरान्त-
बतौर @INCDelhi अध्यक्ष-पिछले 4 वर्षों से,दिल्ली कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं द्वारा,कांग्रेस कवर करने वाली मीडिया द्वारा,एवं हमारे नेता @RahulGandhi जी द्वारा,मुझे अपार स्नेह तथा सहयोग मिला है।
इन कठिन परिस्थितियों में यह आसान नहीं था! इसके लिए ह्रदय से आभार!
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) January 4, 2019
However, the resignation of Ajay Maken has fuelled the speculation that now, the decks are clear for a Congress and AAP alliance before 2019. Ajay Maken was unhappy with any sort of alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party and had said that there was no question of any alliance with the AAP in Delhi. The resignation of Ajay Maken at this juncture has given rise to speculations that everything is not going well within the Delhi Congress with regards to an alliance with AAP.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit had recently said that she is open to campaigning for her arch-rival and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal if her party high command wants her to do so.
Interestingly, HS Phoolka, a senior leader of Aam Aadmi Party who was very much against the idea of his party joining hands with Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections has also resigned from the AAP. Both Maken and Phoolka were said to be strongly against any alliance between their respective parties for the upcoming general elections and resignations of both leaders is a hint that AAP and Congress are clearing the decks for an alliance in Delhi to fight the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
It is notable here that HS Phoolka was one of the main petitioners in the 1984 Sikh massacre case seeking justice for Sikh victims. The case has recently seen the conviction of senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar. Last year, he had even declared that he will quit the AAP if it allies with Congress.
Several people speculated that these resignations were perhaps clearing the deck for the alliance.
Ajay Maken leaves his Congress post. HS Phoolka resigns from AAP. The 21 seats of Chandigarh, Delhi, and Punjab will certainly see a Congress – AAP alliance then. Perhaps also the 10 in Haryana. #LoksabhaElection2019 https://t.co/p9ryb0RiLT
— Aashish Chandorkar (@c_aashish) January 4, 2019
Two leaders opposed to an alliance between Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP and Rahul Gandhi’s Congress quit their respective party posts — HS Phoolka (@hsphoolka) and Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken). So an alliance is on? https://t.co/ZHSr4eoKpf
— Bhuvan Bagga (@Bhuvanbagga) January 4, 2019
Both AAP and Congress are reportedly working on the feasibility of a “broader alliance” in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana for the Lok Sabha elections. AAP leader Sanjay Singh has been reportedly given the responsibility of leading negotiations on behalf of AAP, while former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit is heading talks on behalf of the Congress.