Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi meet Delhi unit leaders

New Delhi | August 17, 2023 2:44:33 AM IST
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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader, Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday chaired a one-on-one meeting with leaders of the Delhi Congress unit, party sources said. 

The sources further said that the meeting held at the All India Congres Committee office in New Delhi on Wednesday evening was called to hold discussions on organizational matters.

This comes after the Aam Admi party threatened to walk out of the INDIA alliance.

"Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi are meeting Delhi Congress leaders on one to one basis. The meeting has been called for a discussion on organizational matters", Sources said.

Deepak Babaria, Congress in-charge for Delhi, on Wednesday, distanced the party from its leader Alka Lamba's statement, saying that there was no discussion held on elections or alliance in today's meeting. Babaria even termed her statement "immature".

Speaking to ANI, Babaria said, "I am finding myself for want of words to get some sense of the AAP. Alka Lamba is not an authorized spokesperson for much larger issues. As an in-charge, I have said there has been no discussion on it (Lok Sabha seats)."

"After the completion of the meeting, I clearly said that there were no discussions regarding elections or alliance in the meeting. I also said that any discussion of the INDIA alliance will only take place in the presence of Mallikarjun Kharge ji," he said.

Earlier in the day the Congress party held a meeting of its Delhi unit. 

After the meeting, Congress leader Alka Lamba claimed that the party had asked its cadres and leaders to start making preparations for the seven Lok Sabha seats for the 2024 elections. 

This statement triggered the AAP to threaten a walkout from the INDIA alliance. Party spokesperson Priyanka Kakar said, "If they (Congress) don't want to form an alliance in Delhi, then it makes no sense to go for the INDIA alliance, it is a waste of time. The party's top leadership will decide whether or not to attend the next meeting of the INDIA alliance."

This forced Congress in charge of Delhi to make a clarification that no talks had been held on the alliance in Delhi.

He also cautioned the AAP on its media statement, saying, "The AAP should understand... to make such statements." 

"They should also understand that the entire media wants to support the BJP..want to provoke you.. After provoking you, to make such statements..I think it is the most unfortunate thing," Babaria said, referring to Priyanka Kakkar's statement.

He further mentioned that there was no discussion held in the meeting today.

"To make some imaginary statements...And if someone believes the immature statements of our spokesperson..they should have clarified it with me," he said, terming it the "mischief of media to favour the BJP".

The INDIA alliance is scheduled to meet in Mumbai at the end of this month and a potential face-off between the AAP and the Congress would have hurt the alliance. (AN))