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Congress reiterates support to AAP government


New Delhi, Dec 25 :

The Congress made it clear Wednesday there was no rethink on its declared support for an AAP government in Delhi, scotching speculation that it was having second thoughts.

The comment came even as the Aam Admi Party (AAP), whose leader Arvind Kejriwal will take oath Saturday as chief minister, said that the Congress was free to take any decision vis-a-vis the AAP.

“There will be no rethinking on the issue-based support the Congress has given to AAP,” said its spokesman Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.Sandeep Dikshit, Congress Spokesperson

He said the Congress was backing the AAP because of the development-related promises made in its manifesto.

“Our support to the AAP’s government formation should be seen as Congress support to AAP’s manifesto,” said Dikshit.

He said the Congress provided transparent governance in Delhi for 15 years — until it was voted out this month.

“If AAP is able to maintain the same level of transparency, then the Congress is ready to work with the AAP government,” he said.

Dikshit’s clarification followed intense speculation overnight that the Congress had done a U-turn and was wary of propping up a government of the AAP, which continues to make remarks critical of the Congress.

On Tuesday, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that a section of the Congress felt that the decision to support the AAP “in this manner is perhaps not correct”.

There have also been sporadic street protests by Congress activists against the AAP.

Arvinder Singh ‘Lovely’, the new president of the Congress in Delhi, also echoed Dikshit’s views.

He said the Congress informed Lt. Governor Jung Dec 13 that it would give “outside support” to an AAP government. “We stick to that stand.”

He added: “We (Congress) do not have any tie-up with the AAP.”

Also Wednesday, senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav declared that his party had no obligations towards the Congress.

“We have always clarified we do not have an alliance, a tie-up and not even an understanding with the Congress. In the absence of that, it is not for me to say what they should do and what they should not do,” he said.

“They are an independent mature political party… I underline that we have the numbers (to form a government), and we are going to implement our agenda,” he added.

The AAP has only 28 seats in the 70-member assembly, and it has the backing of eight Congress legislators. The Bharatiya Janata Party, with 31 legislators, is the largest group but refused to form a government.

Meanwhile, AAP legislator Vinod Kumar Binny clarified Wednesday that he was not upset after being denied a cabinet berth. Kejriwal too denied any rift in the one-year-old party.

“I am not upset and I have not given any statement… We are a truly democratic party. If I was indeed upset I would have said so,” Binny said here.

There was widespread speculation late Tuesday that he was furious that he had not been included in the proposed cabinet.

He had left midway a party meeting where the ministers’ names were announced.

Kejriwal said: “Binny met me in the evening (Tuesday) and said he did not want any post. He said this to the media as well.”

With Kejriwal as the chief minister, the new AAP government will have six ministers: Manish Sisodia, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Somnath Bharti, Rakhi Birla, Satyendra Jain and Girish Soni.