In a scathing attack on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, Sonia Gandhi accused it of shying away from Delhi as it thought that running a government is a "child's play".
Targeting Kejriwal, whose party was mainly responsible for the rout of Congress in Delhi polls last December, she said, "Some people believed that running government is a child's play. You have seen how they have run away from Delhi."
The Congress President was speaking at a rally in west Delhi's Karol Bagh area where she attacked BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Kejriwal in the same breath.
AAP shot back saying it did not continue in office owing to the lack of numbers required to bring the Janlokpal Bill.
"Sonia Gandhi’s comment on the resignation of the AAP government in Delhi is an unsuccessful attempt to hide her own party’s open alliance with the BJP on February 14 in the state assembly, which led to the defeat of the Janlokpal bill," the party said in a statement here.
The party alleged that it was Gandhi’s desperate bid to deflect attention from the growing public anger against a series of scams of UPA government and its wrong policies and that she chose to harp on her party’s "specialisation of running a government at all costs, whether through horse trading or defection of MPs/MLAs.”
"The Aam Aadmi Party would like to make it clear that it will not compromise on its core principle of eradicating corruption from the country. It was on this promise that the people of Delhi had given 28 seats to the AAP in the assembly elections and the party’s minority government was working towards bringing a strong Janlokpal bill,” the statement added.
The move to take on AAP was obvious as the party had eaten up into the majority of Congress vote bank in the last assembly elections winning 28 seats in Delhi where the ruling party was left with just eight seats in the 70-member assembly with its Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit routed by more than 25,000 votes in the New Delhi seat.
Although Kejriwal went on to become Chief Minister with outside support from Congress, he resigned on February 14 after a 49-day stint at the helm.
In all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital, there is a three-cornered contest between Congress, BJP and AAP where elections are slated to be held on April 10.