AAP upset over Cong attack, feels it will blunt Oppn onslaught on BJP

Last Updated 20 January 2018, 12:57 IST

As it faces a crisis over the  imminent disqualification of 20 MLAs, the AAP is upset over an aggressive campaign by the Congress against it, as leaders feel it will affect the joint Opposition onslaught against the BJP.

While the Trinamool Congress, CPM and the Sharad Yadav-led JD(U) faction have come out in support of the AAP, the Delhi Congress has left no stone unturned since the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify the MLAs became public and announced the launch of a protest programme against the Arvind Kejriwal-led government from Monday.

Egged on by Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, the central leadership has so far kept the AAP out of any formal Opposition grouping and resisted attempts  by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Yadav to bring Kejriwal on a joint Opposition platform.

'Game plan' of the BJP:

A senior AAP leader said the Congress was going "overboard" without understanding the "game plan" of the BJP.

"This move to disqualify MLAs comes just a year ahead of Lok Sabha polls and the Congress should understand that the Opposition should stand together. The BJP is targeting Opposition parties and there is no point in talking about Opposition unity," the leader said.

Mamata announced her support on Friday, while CPM Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat denounced the poll panel's recommendation and  called it "undemocratic and selective in procedure and substance".

Yadav, too, upped the ante in favour of the AAP, saying constitutional bodies were being "misused".

The BJP's ally, the Shiv Sena, too have now questioned the EC's decision.

For the Congress, it has a score to settle with the AAP as the latter's high voltage anti-corruption campaign had cost the  former the Delhi Assembly polls as well as the 2014 General Elections.

Congress leaders also feel that aligning with the AAP does not make any sense for them as  the latter grew on its vote base in the capital city where the Grand Old Party is yet to retain  its grip.

However, the AAP has now tweaked its strategy and is ready to align with a joint Opposition to take on the BJP.

Though the Congress  has not made any effort to rope in the AAP, it has, however, in the past gone with the joint Opposition on several issues inside and outside Parliament, including the Presidential elections.

Kejriwal is in touch with top Opposition leaders like Yechury, Mamata and Yadav.

Kejriwal had indicated his willingness to come under the Opposition umbrella as early as in April last year during a breakfast meeting with Kerala Chief Minister and senior CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan.  

(Published 20 January 2018, 12:46 IST)

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