Ending days of speculation, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has taken the final decision of not joining hands with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, according to sources.
Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit was conveyed the decision by party leaders PC Chacko and KC Venugopal in a late-night meeting held on Saturday, they added. Chacko and Venugopal met Dikshit at her residence and also brainstormed on shortlisting candidates for the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.
Sources said Rahul has conveyed it to Dikshit to begin party's preparations to contest all the seven Lok Sabha seats alone.
The reported development brings the back and forth over an AAP-Congress alliance to an end. Chacko's views are at variance with Dikshit, who has made it clear that aligning with AAP will not be in the party's interests.
The Delhi unit of the party has been divided over any alliance with the AAP. Four former Delhi Congress presidents -- Ajay Maken, Subhash Chopra, Tajdar Babar and Arvinder Singh Lovely -- favoured an alliance with Kejriwal's party. On the other hand, Dikshit and three working presidents, Devender Yadav, Rajesh Lilothia, and Haroon Yusuf, maintained their stand against the alliance.
Amid the dilly dallying over forging an alliance, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had also intervened, asking both the parties to join hands to unitedly defeat the BJP.
Soon after the meeting, Arvind Kejriwal had declared that the Congress had rejected an alliance and he was "fed up of trying to convince the party".
The AAP has been seeking an alliance with the Congress in Delhi saying that a division of votes will help the BJP in all seven constituencies in the city. The BJP had won all Lok Sabh seats in Delhi in 2014 parliamentary polls.
The Lok Sabha elections on the seven seats in Delhi will be held on May 12. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.