Congress Divided on Supporting Kejriwal Government
By Santwana Bhattacharya | Published: 25th December 2013 07:08 AM |
As cracks within the Congress over the issue of lending support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to form a government in Delhi became obvious, the party’s top brass Tuesday started having second thoughts.
Though the volte face was couched in moral talk, there was little doubt that the rethinking was sparked by the threatening talk by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and his band of newbie politicians. AAP has made it plain that it will keep to its poll promise and go after former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her ministers. It will also probe the land deals of Robert Vadra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.
Even while accepting the Congress support to form the government, AAP leaders, most notably lawyer Prashant Bhushan, threatened to get not just the leaders and but also the bureaucrats of the Dikshit regime “thoroughly probed” and “jailed” if need be.
Taken aback, the Congress top brass seems to have found a way out of AAP’s death embrace by citing unrest in the local unit, which did hold demonstrations outside the DPCC office questioning the leadership’s decision to support the challenger which vanquished its three-term government.
A senior Congress leader indicated that the open acknowledgment of a division within the party “should be seen as a message to Kejriwal”. If “they are interested in running a people-friendly government with new ideas, we’re with them, but they think our support can be taken for granted to do vindictive politics then we know how to teach a lesson,” a party leader said, admitting that powerful members of the local unit are seething over AAP’s high-handed attitude.
However, Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel said from Ahmedabad that the letter of support given to Lt-Governor Najib Jung will not be withdrawn immediately. “In an organisation, there are different voices but right now our support is for the Aam Admi Party, we will see what happens later,” Patel added.
The Congress flip-flop started the moment Kejriwal agreed to form the government.