AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday sought time from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former MP Rahul Gandhi against the Centre’s ordinance over control of administrative services in the New Delhi.
Kejriwal will meet his Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekar Rao in Hyderabad on Saturday to seek the Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s support to defeat the Centre’s ordinance on control of services in Rajya Sabha. The AAP chief is currently on a nationwide tour to unite the Opposition.
“Sought time this morning to meet Cong President Sh Kharge ji and Sh Rahul Gandhi ji to seek Cong support in Parl against undemocratic n unconstitutional ordinance passed by BJP govt and also to discuss general assault on federal structure and prevailing political situation”, Kejriwal tweeted. This comes day after the Aam Aadmi Party convenor met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar to garner support over the issue.
Responding to his tweet, Congress leader Alka Lamba wrote, “AAP should apologise to Congress, ex-Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, late ex-CM Sheila Dixit and Gandhi family.
If things go forward, we Congress workers will not have any objections. We hope Congress president will consider the sentiments of party workers which were hurt by the Aam Aadmi Party".
The Congress has, however, said it will consult with its regional leaders on whether to support AAP, which is its rival in states like Delhi and Bengal, and challenged it in the Gujarat election. Congress leader and former Union Minister Ajay Maken, former MP Sandeep Dikshit, Pawan Khera and most of the senior leader from state unit are not in favour to support Kejriwal in Rajya Sabha.
Earlier, on 23 May, in a lengthy Twitter post, Congress leader Ajay Maken detailed administrative, political, and legal reasons of not supporting Kejriwal’s position on the ordinance. "...anyone backing Kejriwal and opposing the ordinance is essentially going against the wisdom and decisions of Pandit Nehru, Baba Sahib Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and Narasimha Rao," Maken tweeted.
In another tweet, Kejriwal wrote, “Meeting Hon’ble CM of Telangana tomorrow in Hyderabad to seek support against unconstitutional and undemocratic ordinance passed by BJP government against the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court”. Taking a dig at Kejriwal, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said Arvind Kejriwal had promised in 2013-14 to never strike a deal with Congress or any other party, but is now begging for their support”.
Kejriwal has been touring different non-BJP-ruled states, meeting with Opposition leaders to garner their support to defeat a Bill on the ordinance when it reaches the Rajya Sabha.
He has so far met leaders such as Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thakre, Nitish Kumar, Tejashvi Yadav. Terming the Centre’s ordinance an assault on parliamentary democracy, Pawar expressed support to Kejriwal and said he would reach out to other states to foster consensus among opposition parties. Prior to his meeting with Pawar, Kejriwal had also met Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai.
The Delhi Chief Minister has already got West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee on his side in his fight against the ordinance over the curbs on Delhi government’s administrative powers. The Trinamool Congress chief assured Kejriwal that her party will oppose the bill when it is introduced in parliament.