New Delhi: A rift has arisen in the Congress on the issue of supporting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) against the central government’s ordinance. On Monday, Congress leaders from Punjab and Delhi met party president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence in New Delhi. Rahul Gandhi was also present in this meeting.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Partap Singh Bajwa, Harish Chaudhary, Navjot Sidhu presented their views before Kharge and Rahul Gandhi. After the meeting, Punjab Congress leaders said they have conveyed whatever they had to say on the issue to the party leadership. It cannot be disclosed publicly.
Warring said he had come only to make his point and the final decision on extending support to AAP would be taken by the party high command.
Significantly, on May 20, the Central Government issued an ordinance regarding the transfer-posting of officers in Delhi. Kejriwal is opposing it. He has sought the support of all opposition parties, including the Congress, to oppose the ordinance.
During the meeting, Punjab Congress leaders got the support of Delhi Congress leaders on the issue of supporting AAP. Leaders from both the states told the high command that the Congress should not support the AAP against the Centre’s ordinance.
Delhi leaders also said that there should be no alliance with AAP in Delhi. However, after making their point, the leaders of Punjab and Delhi also made it clear that the final decision will be taken by the high command.
Ahead of the meeting, senior Congress leaders like Ajay Maken, Sandeep Dikshit, Pratap Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had earlier said the party should not support the AAP.
Kharge and Venugopal supported AAP
Kharge and Congress general secretary KC Venugopal have already said they will consider supporting AAP in opposing the Centre’s ordinance, but when leaders of Punjab and Delhi Congress raised objections, Kharge had said they would take a final decision only after holding talks with leaders from Delhi and Punjab.
Venugopal had last week said Congress MPs would oppose the ordinance if the Centre brought a bill in the monsoon session of the Rajya Sabha.