Congress Leader Invokes Nehru Amid AAP vs Centre Over Delhi Postings

New Delhi:

Supporting the Aam Aadmi Party government against the Centre’s executive order on transfers and postings in Delhi will be going against stalwarts like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, BR Ambedkar, underlined Delhi Congress leader Ajay Maken.

“Since the time of Independence, this power to transfer bureaucrats was never with a Delhi Chief Minister. What Arvind Kejriwal has been asking from PM Modi has been denied by Sardar Patel. BR Ambedkar too said no to it. Pandit Nehru denied it. Lal Bahadur Shastri was against it,” said Ajay Maken, stressing that supporting Mr Arvind Kejriwal would be opposing Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Congress on Monday indicated that while it agrees in principle that the Centre’s executive order on bureaucrats’ postings in the national capital is undermining the Supreme Court, they would “consult its state units and other like-minded parties” before firming up its stance on supporting the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.

“The Party believes in the Rule of Law and at the same time does not condone unnecessary confrontation, political witch-hunt and campaigns based on lies against political opponents by any political party,” KC Venugopal, the party’s Organisational in-charge, tweeted yesterday.

The Centre’s Ordinance, passed late on Friday evening, overrides a recent order of the Supreme Court — which said the elected government is the boss of Delhi — and makes the Lieutenant Governor the final arbiter of the issue.

“Arvind Kejriwal is making noise as if some great injustice has been done to him. As if Chief Ministers before him had this power and only he is being discriminated against,” Mr Maken told NDTV.

Opposing any alliance with the AAP, the Delhi Congress leader spotlighted how in 2018 the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government passed a resolution in the state assembly recommending the withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna award conferred upon former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in view of his failure to control the mob violence that followed his mother’s assassination in 1984.

“The AAP passed a resolution in state assembly that Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna be withdrawn and did it with BJP’s support. When BJP brought a law to divide Jammu and Kashmir, all opposition parties opposed it but AAP supported them,” said Mr Maken.

The Congress leader stressed that the AAP has supported the BJP on all “crucial decisions”, like the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, among others.

“How do you (AAP) ask for support then,” said Mr Maken, adding that they continue to harm the Congress by fighting in states where the grand old party is strong. The leader pointed out states like Goa, ¬†Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka where the AAP allegedly cut into Congress votes and benefited the BJP.

On the question of larger opposition unity, Mr Maken said “if you are going to weaken Congress and talk about unity, it won’t work”.

“How is this possible that we can talk about Lok Sabha and ignore State assemblies. If we have Lok Sabha in 2024, We have Delhi election in 2025. Is there a switch that will go on and off. What will we do in Punjab,” asked Mr Maken, the former Delhi Congress chief.

The AAP whited-out the Congress in Delhi. The AAP also won Punjab in 2022 besting the grand old party.

“The BJP is a national party and if it has to be challenged only a strong national party like Congress can challenge it,” he added further.

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