Will Rahul, Kejriwal Campaign Together? AAP’s Sanjay Singh Tells News18 What to Expect at Mumbai Meetnewsbhunt


The issues of seat sharing, convenor, campaign strategy and coordination among parties for the forthcoming state as well as national elections will be discussed during the third meeting of the coalition of 26 parties scheduled to take place in Mumbai on September 31 and October 1, said Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh.

Clarifying AAP’s position in the state assembly elections where the Congress and BJP are locked in bipolar contests, Singh said the state and national elections should be viewed with the same prism.

On the issue of seat sharing for the upcoming elections, Singh said it cannot be decided overnight but the “sooner it happens, it will be better for the candidates”.

When asked whether Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal can be seen campaigning together for the upcoming elections, Singh said the leaders of every party will campaign for each other “whenever it is needed”.

Edited interview

Q: The two meetings of I.N.D.I.A have already happened. This (Mumbai) would be the third. What is on the agenda?

A: All such issues that could not be discussed in the Patna and Bengaluru meetings will be discussed in the Mumbai one. The issue of seat sharing, the convenor, campaign strategy, and coordination among parties will be discussed at the Mumbai meeting, and decisions will be taken.

Q: So, will the issue of seat sharing be discussed this time?

A: You have built a coalition in which 26 parties are involved. If there is no seat sharing, how will the elections be fought? Isn’t this obvious? The sooner that is decided, the more time it will give parties to prepare for the elections. A quick decision on this should be taken. There is nothing wrong in this.

Q: Will seat sharing be discussed in this meeting or a separate coordination committee will be formed on this?

A: It is not possible to speak on this as they are general elections. Of course, seat sharing cannot be decided in a day. But the sooner it happens, the better it is for the candidates and parties as it will give them an early start. The objective of defeating the BJP in the elections will be achieved.

Q: AAP would be focusing on Delhi and Punjab where it has high stakes. What is the formula this time compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections?

A: The coalition will decide on the formula. If we say something, it will not look good. When you are in a coalition, a formula is decided according to which the number of seats are decided. As of now, that has not been decided and nor have there been any talk on the issue. It will not be right to speak out of turn.

Q: Is AAP ready to share seats in Delhi and Punjab? You have presence in Goa and Gujarat as well.

A: We are part of the coalition. We went into those meetings twice in order to contest the elections together. Now, we are going for the third meeting. So, this question in itself is not right. We are ready to fight the elections together and therefore we are going for these meetings.

Q: Will Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal campaign jointly in Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat and Goa?

A: When a coalition of 26 parties is formed, it fights the election. Leaders of every party will campaign for each other wherever it is needed.

Q: Can we say that there will be joint campaigns?

A: Why not? I am saying that when there are 26 parties, each will contest elections. Why will they not campaign for each other. They have to do it.

Q: So, will AAP campaign for the Congress?

A: I am saying when a coalition has been formed, all parties decide to contest the elections together so they will also campaign for each other.

Q: There are many names that are doing the rounds for the chair of convenor, including that of Nitish Kumar and now even Mallikarjun Kharge. What do you have to say?

A: AAP’s National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal will give his opinion in the meeting when the names are discussed. It would not be proper to discuss this now.

Q: Sanjay Raut has made a comment today that the BJP may engineer riots in view of elections. Is this not a provocative statement?

A: How is it provocative? What is the trend of BJP’s work? Did they not engineer riots in Muzaffarnagar and Delhi? Truth has to be told to the country. If Manipur is burning since the last four months, then who is responsible for that? When there were riots in Delhi, BJP leaders were openly involved. What is happening in Mewat? The country must be alerted that the BJP is a party that triggers riots and spreads hate and one has to be careful. Sanjay Raut has spoken in this context. He has not said anything wrong.

Q: Are you aware of any logo that is set to be unveiled by the I.N.D.I.A coalition?

A: I have no information on this. I have seen something on social media and channels. I am not aware of any logo.

Q: When the voting took place on the Delhi Ordinance Bill, the Congress supported you wholeheartedly from floor coordination to making the right public gestures. Are you satisfied with the support of the Congress? Will you extend them the same during elections?

A: Certainly we are satisfied. Our leader Kejriwal ji has also expressed gratitude. All parties including the Congress supported us with full honesty and courage.

Q: AAP leader Sandeep Pathak has said the party will contest elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. Isn’t there a conflict when it comes to the state and national elections?

A: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) fights the elections against the Congress in Kerala and in Lok Sabha. When you are a national party, the same formula cannot be applied everywhere.

Q: The Congress says AAP acts as a vote-cutter, which leads to its defeat in the elections?

A: Where are the facts? AAP fought on all seats in Karnataka, but the Congress won with an overwhelming majority. We had fought the last Rajasthan elections, and the Congress formed the government. We had also contested all seats in Madhya Pradesh and the Congress formed the government in 2018. In Chhattisgarh, AAP had contested on all seats in 2018, and the Congress formed the government. The AAP had fought the elections in Goa in 2017 and the Congress was the number one party. Where have you got this formula? Which thermometer does the media use to show that when we fight, we damage the Congress. I have no idea.

Will it be reasonable if we demand that the Congress should not fight elections in Delhi as we have to defeat the BJP? Will the Congress agree? Political parties will contest the elections against each other. State and national elections should not be viewed through the same prism.


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