‘Congress’s silence raises suspicions’: Delhi ordinance row casts shadow on Patna opposition conclave, AAP sets conditions to join future meetings | India News

NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party versus the Congress fight on the Delhi ordinance row cast a dark shadow on the mega opposition unity meeting in Patna on Friday with Arvind Kejriwal’s party threatening to stay away from any future meetings that includes the grand old party.
Soon after the mega opposition meeting in Patna, which was attended by AAP chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann, the party issued a strong statement accusing the Congress of refusing to act as a team player on an important issue.
The AAP warned that it will be difficult for them be a part of any alliance that includes the grand old party till it “publicly denounces the Black Ordinance.”
“The Congress, a national party that takes a stand on almost all issues, has yet to make its position on the Black Ordinance public. Congress’s silence raises suspicions about its real intentions,” AAP said in the statement.
“Until the Congress publicly denounces the Black Ordinance and declares that all 31 of its RS MPs will oppose the ordinance in the Rajya Sabha, it will be difficult for AAP to participate in future meetings of like-minded parties where the Congress is a participant,” the party said.
“Except for the Indian National Congress, all other 11 parties, which have representation in the Rajya Sabha, have clearly expressed their stand against the Black Ordinance (Centres’s ordinance on Delhi govt) and announced that they would oppose it in the Rajya Sabha,” the AAP statement said.
The AAP also claimed that the Congress would abstain from voting on the ordinance in Rajya Sabha.
“In personal discussions, senior Congress leaders have hinted that their party might informally or formally abstain from voting on it in the Rajya Sabha,” the party statement said and addded, “The Congress’ abstention from voting on this issue will help the BJP immensely in furthering its attack on Indian democracy.”
The Centre had on May 19 promulgated an ordinance to create an authority for the transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi, which the AAP government had called a deception with the Supreme Court verdict on control of services.
The ordinance came a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services in Delhi, excluding police, public order and land, to the elected government.
The Congress, which has so far kept its stand ambiguous on the ordinance issue, has expressed surprise at the AAP’s efforts to publicise the issue.
The Delhi unit of the Congress wants the central leadership to support the Centre’s ordinance. However, any such move could have a ripple effect on the unity efforts with Arvind Kejriwal making his stand clear.
“Opposing it or proposing it does not happen outside, it happens in Parliament. Before Parliament begins, all parties decide what issues they have to work on together. They (AAP) know it and even their leaders come to our all-party meetings. I don’t know why there is so much publicity about it outside,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said.
“About 18-20 parties decide together on what to oppose and what to accept. So instead of saying anything now, we will take a decision before Parliament begins,” he said.
Earlier, the AAP had accused the Congress of striking a deal with the BJP in support of the ordinance.
“We have got information from reliable sources that a deal has been reached between the BJP and the Congress on this unconstitutional ordinance,” AAP chief national spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar said.
Kakkar wondered what was stopping the Congress from taking a stand against the ordinance, which she claimed is not just illegal but also against the spirit of the Constitution.
With Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to lead the second round of opposition unity deliberations in Shimla in July, it remains to be seen if AAP will be a part of the deliberations.

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