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AAP, Congress want to outfox each other: Jaitley


New Delhi, Dec 24 :

Terming the Congress the B-team of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), BJP leader Arun Jaitley Tuesday said both parties have entered into a political adjustment on government formation in Delhi with “a self-serving motive” and each wants to outfox the other.

In an article on his website, Jaitley said the Congress was not keen on an early re-election due to the drubbing it received in the recent assembly elections and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wanted to form government to make its presence felt nationally.

Arun Jaitley, Senior BJP Leader
Arun Jaitley, Senior BJP Leader

He said the Congress agreed to “the humiliation” of working as the B-team of the AAP in order to defer the “prospects of another electoral humiliation”.

The Congress is extending outside support of its eight legislators to the AAP to help it form the government.

Jaitley said formation of government would help the AAP “to prevent its MLAs getting scattered.”

“When the two parties jointly constitute a majority in the assembly are allowing a government formation with a dishonourable motive, one only hopes that governance and eventually the citizens of Delhi do not become a casualty,” he added.

Raising questions on the “exact nature” of the Congress-AAP relationship, Jaitley said many have suggested that AAP is the B-team of the Congress.

“The truth is otherwise. For the present, the Congress has agreed to the humiliation of working as the B-team of the AAP.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said the AAP sacrificed its principle of “no Congress support” to make its presence felt nationally by forming a government in the national capital.

“The AAP knows it is forming a fragile government with a short life,” Jaitley said.

Jaitley, the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said Congress was a clear loser in the election as it had got only eight seats.

“Most of its leaders lost the election. The Congress cannot afford an early re-election. It needs breathing time to recover. If no government had been formed in Delhi, a re-election could have been held along with the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In that event, the ‘Modi (Narendra) factor’ would also have influenced the outcome of the polls. The election would have been polarised between the BJP and the AAP with the Congress getting squeezed out even more,” Jaitley said.

“It is here that a convergence of two contradictory interests took place,” he said.

The BJP leader said the AAP, which has 28 legislators, has taken a calculated risk.

“It continues to denigrate the Congress and take its support. The Congress on the other hand chooses to get insulted in order to defer the prospects of another electoral humiliation. It is hoping to support the AAP for some reasonable period in order to defer the elections in Delhi so as to enable it to politically recover,” he said.

Jaitley said BJP emerged as the largest single party in Delhi with 31 seats and the party could not have formed a government till it had stable support of 36 MLAs.

He said the BJP has reconciled to sitting in the opposition or wait for fresh election.

Jaitley said the AAP had gone back on its commitment of not taking the Congress support through “a farcical referendum”.