Congress to watch AAP for 3 months

Congress to watch AAP for 3 months

Congress to watch AAP for 3 months

 The Congress will closely watch the performance of the Arvind Kejriwal government over the next two-three months before a possible rethink on support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a decision which has caused heartburn among a section of party’s Delhi unit leaders.

Three days before Kejriwal’s oath-taking ceremony on December 28, Congress spokes-man Sandeep Dikshit said on Wednesday that there was a strong sense of resentment among party workers on the decision to support Kejriwal, particularly at a time when he has been abusing the Congress leadership in public. Dikshit said the Congress would examine how the AAP approaches its manifesto, which promises “to create a heaven in Delhi in three months”.

“We are supporting the manifesto of the AAP at least in the coming time. The party will stand by it,” he said.

The rumblings within the Delhi Congress over support given to the AAP seemed to be getting louder on Wednesday even as Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung fixed December 28 for Kejriwal and his team to take oath of office. The trust vote will have to be sought within a week from the oath-taking ceremony at Ram Lila Ground. Raj Niwas sources said since the Assembly’s sitting is usually not held on Saturday and Sunday the probable date of trust vote would be January 6, 2014.

Kejriwal’s oath-taking date was finalised after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the proposal on government formation by the AAP with outside support from Congress.

The Union Home Ministry forwarded the  communication to Jung in the morning.

"The lieutenant governor is empowered to exercise his power as representative of the President and decide date and place of oath ceremony in consultation with the chief minister-designate," said an official, adding that Kejriwal may be asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House within seven days from the date on which he takes oath of office.

Delhi Congress sources said three out of the eight party legislators have voiced concern over supporting a party which is threatening to “victimise” party leaders and initiate probes against them for alleged wrongdoings.

The new legislators have registered their protest against the party’s decision of supporting the AAP, which has 28 MLAs, to form the new government in the 70-member Assembly.

Former Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami of the Congress suggested that the party president should rethink on the issue of supporting the AAP.

“They must rethink on the issue. As party spokesman Janardan Dwivedi has said, many of the party leaders are against supporting the AAP citing the improper language being used by leaders of that party against the Congress,” he told reporters here.

Dikshit, Congress MP from East Delhi and son of outgoing Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, also took a dig at the AAP’s promises claiming that they have juggled words in their manifesto to mislead voters.

“It is the party’s decision to give support to the AAP and the high command will only set any deadline for AAP’s performance,” he said.

“The AAP is actually juggling with the words of its manifesto. They have fixed some 100 days or three months or 15 days for some promises but on some of the promises they have clearly said that it will be done on the availability of resources,” he told Deccan Herald.

“We have our perspective on achievability of the AAP’s promises, but let’s give them two or three months to see if they can deliver,” he said.

Party’s city unit chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said the party will never keep mum if anyone tries to settle scores.

“We are sticking to the letter, senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad and former DPCC chief J P Agarwal wrote to the lieutenant governor on December 13 regarding support to the AAP. But we have full rights to know about the AAP’s strategy as we have supported the party over its manifesto,” he said.

Party sources said Lovely would write to Kejriwal and ask him about his blue print of implementation of his promises of power water and other issues. Asked about party’s stand on the AAP’s letter on 18 issues, Lovely said: “We already have agreed to two of the issues but 16 of them are related to executive decisions which the AAP is free to adopt once it comes to power.”

AAP leader Yogendra Yadav, however, claimed that the party will never compromise with any of the 18 issues. “We are not here for any common minimum programme. We are hoping to get support of the majority but whenever the Congress and the BJP will mutually decide to topple the government it will be over,” he said.

The AAP has 28 seats while the Congress with eight has agreed to give it outside support to it after the December 4 elections threw up a hung House. The BJP, which has support of 32 legislators, has decided to sit in the opposition.

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