While the Congress-AAP alliance talks may have been butt of jokes, the fact is that it is also reflective of indecision plaguing the Congress high command
Election campaigns are mostly serious affairs with hardly any scope for any comic fun. This election too it would have been no different had it not been for what is happening between the Congress and the AAP. The way the two parties have gone about discussing the possibility of contesting together in Delhi is the closest to a situational comedy in the political theatre.
One day, the two will say that talks are on a potential alliance to contest against the BJP in Delhi. And on the same evening, there would be the news that the confabulations did not make any headway.
The next day, and its next, and its next, and its next...the two parties would keep the strange rigmarole going. "Talk, fight, talk, fight... it was like watching two teenage lovers. It was silly and immature," a journalist was quoted as saying recently.
But after a point, even the eternally news-starved reporters became disinterested in the story. "It was funny to start off. But then it became farcical," the journalist said.
However, the whole thing seemed to have reached a terminal closure after the AAP said that it would agree for a tie-up with the Congress only if the latter agreed for an arrangement in Haryana. No wait, the punchline in the joke is: The AAP is already in alliance with the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), whose leader Dushyant Chautala (grandson of Om Prakash Chautala) had already categorically made it clear that there was no question of any tie-up with the Congress.
So, AAP was planning to hook up with the Congress in Haryana despite the fact that its (AAP's) existing partner had asserted that there was no room another player in their marriage.
This was no teenage love story, but more in the territory of B-Grade potboiler. Anyway, with Delhi alliance being off because of — wait for it — Haryana, the whole kitschy drama, every one thought, had come to an end.
Apparently, all of us are wrong.
Yesterday (April 24), in an interview to a Hindi publication, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that his party was ready for an alliance with the AAP till the last second. And in response, an angry Arvind Kejriwal said the Congress was just pretending that it wanted an alliance with the AAP and Rahul was not serious about it.
While the Congress-AAP alliance talks may have been butt of jokes, the fact is that it is also reflective of indecision plaguing the Congress high command.
"It cannot make up its mind one way or the other. That much is very clear," says Anjali Das, a political analyst in New Delhi. "Parties that are sure-footed and seem reliable generally do well. At the moment, that is not the vibes you get from the Congress," she adds.
If the Congress is ready to forgo a strong plank with the AAP, does it mean that it is confident of doing well all alone? Is it strong in the constituencies of Delhi.
Most pundits predict a close run thing, and nothing is sure at the moment. But Kejriwal more or less feels that the victory is for the BJP to take now.
Today (April 25), while launching the AAP manifesto, Kejriwal said: "If the Congress were in a position of winning seven seats, we would have left seven seats for them. But the party is not even in the position to win a single seat. It will not get any Hindu votes and the Muslims are a bit confused."
This is as castigating as it can get.
So after Congress's comic act, the joke now seems to be on itself.
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Last Updated 25, Apr 2019, 4:26 PM