2 Cong Councillors join AAP, soars party MCD tally to 136

| | NEW DELHI
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2 Cong Councillors join AAP, soars party MCD tally to 136

Saturday, 10 December 2022 | Staff Reporter | NEW DELHI

In a jolt to the Delhi Congress, its two newly-elected Councillors — Sabila Khan, from Mustafabad ward and Naziya Khatoon from Brij Puri ward joined the AAP on Friday, leaving the Congress with only seven MCD Councillors.  The Delhi Congress vice-president Ali Mehdi, too, joined the AAP along with the elected Councillors.

The AAP claimed a decisive victory in the Delhi civic polls, winning 134 of the 250 wards under the unified MCD. After the two Congress Councillors joined the party on Friday, the AAP's tally in the corporation has gone up to 136.

Addressing a press conference, AAP leader Durgesh Pathak said they decided to join his party after seeing the work done by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

 “As Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, in order to make India number one and make Delhi a number one city, we need support from the Congress and BJP also. We welcome two Councillors of Congress in the AAP today. I am happy to announce that Delhi Congress vice-president Ali Mehdi and two newly-elected Councillors Sabila Begum and Nazia Khatoon are joining AAP," Pathak said.

Asked why the Congress Councillors joined the AAP and if the party feared "Operation Lotus" in the MCD, Pathak said, "The Councillors were elected simply on their merits. Attempts were made to poach Councillors but we are way ahead in terms of numbers.

Now, even the BJP has accepted that they will have to be in the Opposition in the MCD." He said Nehru Vihar block president Aleem Ansari, Delhi Congress executive member Haji Khushnood, Mustafabad block president Javed Chowdhary and Shiv Vihar block president Ashok Baghel are also joining the AAP.

Meanwhile, Delhi Congress vice-president Mudit Aggarwal alleged that the AAP was also trying to "lure" some other party Councillors. "Is this the 'kattar imaandar' (hardcore honest) politics of Arvind Kejriwal? Proving that AAP is a B-team of the BJP, it poached two Councillors of Congress like the saffron party does with others," Aggarwal said.

The Congress managed to win nine seats in the recent MCD polls. Anti-defection law does not apply to the MCD polls. Before joining the AAP, Mehdi was the vice-president of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.

Prior to this, he was the chairman of the Minority Cell. Mehndi is former Congress MLA Hasan Ahmed’s son. Mehdi said he decided to join AAP as he wants development in his area.

"We have decided to join the AAP after seeing the development work done by Kejriwal. We want development in our area. Under the leadership of Kejriwal, the AAP party is working hard to develop the Capital," Mehdi said.

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