Delhi is set for a triangular fight with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday announcing that alliance is not possible with the Congress as the latter wants the tie-up to remain confined to the national capital and not extending to Haryana.
While the AAP has already declared its list of seven candidates, the Congress is in the process of finalising its candidates. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also yet to come out with its list and is apparently waiting for the final denouement of talks between the AAP and the Congress.
However, both Congress and BJP are expected to declare their candidates by Monday.
The Congress was agreeable on a formula according to which the party would have fought three of the seven seats and four would have gone to the AAP. However, the AAP was also keen to have an alliance in Haryana which the Congress rejected.
The failure of the AAP and the Congress to stitch an alliance could give some advantage to the BJP as it would benefit from a division in the opposition votes. The BJP had won all the seven seats in the national capital in 2014 and is likely to field new faces on some seats.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Saturday that alliance with the Congress in the national capital is not possible as the grand old party refused a tie-up in Haryana.
He said the AAP is popular in Delhi and can sweep all the seven Lok Sabha seats, while the Congress cannot win even a single seat.
"We are popular in Delhi and can win all the seven seats. There is not a single MP or MLA of the Congress in Delhi. Yet it wants half of the Lok Sabha seats. If we share some of them with the Congress, it will not be able to pull through even a single seat," he said.
The AAP candidates are -- Balbir Singh Jakkar from West Delhi, Atishi from East Delhi, Guggan Singh from North-West Delhi, Raghav Chadha from South Delhi, Dilip Pandey from North-East Delhi, Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk and Brijesh Goyal from New Delhi.
The last date for filing of nominations in Delhi is April 24 and polling will take place on May 12.
The names doing the rounds in the Congress include former Union Minister Ajay Maken, former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, wrestler Sushil Kumar, Aravinder Singh Lovely, Ramesh Kumar, Raj Kumar Chauhan and J.P. Agarwal.