Punjab, Delhi Congress leaders urge high command not to back AAP


The Hindu

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Punjab, Delhi Congress leaders urge high command not to back AAP in fight against Centre’s ordinance

Senior Congress leaders from Delhi and Punjab met at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on the issue of support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in its fight against the Centre’s ordinance that effectively negates the Supreme Court verdict which gave the AAP-led Delhi government control over services.

Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa, senior Delhi Congress leaders Ajay Maken and Sandeep Dikshit, who were among those who attended May 23rd meeting, took to social media platforms to oppose any support for the AAP.

In a statement, posted on his Twitter handle, Maken explained the political as well as legal reason why the Congress should not back Kejriwal. Citing political reasons, Maken said that Kejriwal sought the Congress’ support but in the past along with the BJP passed a resolution requesting the Union government to withdraw the Bharat Ratna bestowed upon former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Kejriwal backed the BJP both inside and outside of Parliament on the Jammu & Kashmir issue, supported the BJP during the move to impeach CJI Dipak Mishra on various charges. Was the first to implement the controversial anti-farmer laws and his party also opposed the Opposition’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson and instead supported the BJP-sponsored candidate,” Maken said. He added that the AAP fought the Assembly elections in Gujarat, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka elections which were all States where the Congress was the primary Opposition or the ruling party and put up candidates against the Congress which only helped the BJP.

Giving a legal reason not to support the AAP, Maken said that paragraph 95 of the Supreme Court decision on May 11 order allows the Union government to modify the law. It states, “However, if Parliament enacts a law granting executive power on any subject within the domain of NCTD, the executive power of the Lieutenant Governor shall be modified to the extent, as provided in that law.”

Talking about administrative reasons, Maken said that the principles of cooperative federalism did not fit in Delhi’s context as it was not just a State or Union Territory but the National Capital belonging to the Union and, thus, to every Indian citizen. “As the National Capital, the Union government annually spends approximately ₹37,500 crores on various services, a burden not shared by the Delhi government,” Maken said.

While Maken took to Twitter to argue why the Congress should not support the AAP, Bajwa strongly endorsed his views. “@AamAadmiParty & @ArvindKejriwal deserve no support or sympathy from @INCIndia. @AAPPunjab govt has launched ruthless witch-hunt against @INCPunjab leaders and workers and has made their lives hell by misusing the police and investigation agencies,” tweeted Bajwa.

He urged the party high command to take the views of State units of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Karnataka to find out how the AAP politically helped the BJP and called Kejriwal’s party a “B team of the BJP”. He added, “Let’s not protect a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.

Former Congress MP Sandeep Dixit also tweeted in Hindi against the decision by sharing a video in which Kejriwal is calling for the arrest of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and said “Can we forget those poisonous lies and foul language — nothing is bigger than self-respect.”

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