By Aditya Kalra and Sankalp Phartiyal
India’s Congress party and the upstart Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entered an “unholy alliance” to share power in Delhi following state elections in the national capital, the chief ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said in an interview on Dec. 31.
Harsh Vardhan, who lost the race for chief minister of the capital region to AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal, said he thinks that the Congress party and the AAP had “some sort of understanding” before the elections. He offered no proof. Spokesmen for the AAP and the Congress party denied these charges.
Kejriwal, 45, was sworn in as the youngest chief minister of Delhi on Dec. 28. The anti-corruption activist and former civil servant surprised India with his strong showing and is likely to create uncertainty over how the 2014 general elections and race for the prime minister’s seat will turn out.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is seen as the favourite to lead the country in 2014, displacing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance which has been in power for 10 years. A slackening economy, rising food prices and a series of corruption scandals have hit the ruling government’s reputation in recent years.
The AAP’s triumph in the Delhi state elections did not give it a clear enough majority to run the government, however. The party ended up taking support from the Congress, a move that has raised questions both within the AAP and outside about how long such an alliance can last.